Travelling to other countries means exposing oneself to different cultures, including some strange customs and laws. Here are some weird and possibly unexpected travel don’ts that travellers may want to avoid.

1. Eating or drinking near the Churches in Italy

It is an offence in certain towns and cities in Italy to sit on the steps of churches and other monuments. Eating or drinking within the vicinity of churches is also forbidden.

2. No public displays of affection in the United Arab Emirates

In consideration of the religious faith in the UAE, abstain from public displays of affection, which are generally frowned upon. There have been cases where acts of kissing in public have led to police arrests.

3. Do not go topless in Maldives

Maldives may be a dream destination for beach lovers but be aware of the dress code in the country. Travellers are not allowed to sunbathe nude or topless anywhere, even the resort islands.

4. Possession of certain medicines in Japan

Some common over-the-counter medications such as Vicks are not allowed into Japan. It is important to check what is banned prior to travelling, as the lack of awareness is not considered a reasonable defence. There have been several incidences where offenders are detained or deported.

5. Restricted quantities of powdered baby formula from Hong Kong

The Hong Kong government has imposed restrictions on the amount of powdered baby formula (two-cans limit) that people are allowed to bring across its borders. Failure to comply may lead to severe consequences.

6. No kissing at train stations in France

A law that was introduced in 1910 to prevent delays and jams has banned couples in France from kissing on train platforms. While there seem to be no strict enforcements on this nowadays, the law was never omitted and thus relevant.

7. Smoking and chewing gum in Singapore

Strict laws are enforced on visitors bringing vaporisers like e-cigarettes and chewing gum into the country. Such items are likely confiscated, and offenders may be imposed with a fine or even imprisonment. Since 2004, an exception has been made for dental and nicotine gums.

8. Indecent fancy clothing are not permitted in Greece

Be careful of what you wear to a party when you’re out in Greece. Some fancy dress costumes may be considered inappropriate and regarded as an offence against decency laws.

9. Inappropriate dress codes in Croatia

Walking around the streets shirtless or clad in their bathing suits is frowned upon in some towns of Croatia. Take note of the signage around the area that serves as a public reminder that such actions if caught, could lead to a fine on the spot.

10. Possession of Marijuana is forbidden in Jamaica

Anything in relation to marijuana is strictly illegal under Jamaican laws. This includes cultivation, usage and possession of it. Anyone caught in possession may have to face long prison sentencing.

– Priscilla Lim, Correspondent (Travel)

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