The World’s Strangest Laws

The world is full of strange and unusual laws that sometimes don’t make any sort of sense. Some are just so farfetched it’s hard to believe they are real while others are just confusing and sometimes ignorant. From the illegality of having donkeys sleep in your bathtubs to the ban on building sandcastles to a law that prevents chewing gum into a country; these 15 laws are some of the world’s strangest laws.

15. Donkeys and Bathtubs

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It is one of the most ridiculous laws we have ever heard of and it’s unsure why it even exists, perhaps to make people scratch their head and wonder what they were thinking. In Oklahoma, it is illegal to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7 pm. Does this mean you can have an awake donkey in your bathtub? Or even a sleeping donkey in your house? Apparently, the law is based on a case that happened in 1924 when a donkey fell asleep in a bathtub and headed down the river into a valley.

Locals had to haul the donkey back to its home and signed a petition to pass a law, in case this sort of thing ever happened again. We doubt anyone still has donkeys in their bathtubs, but hey, you never know.

14. Keep smiling in Milan

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They certainly are happy in Milan but perhaps they are smiling because it is actually the law to do so. The law in the province of Milan actually requires every citizen to smile when they are out in public. Exemptions are made if you are headed to a funeral or visiting someone in the hospital. Breaking this law can lead to being arrested and fined up to $100. It’s a good thing it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown or a whole lot of people would be facing daily fines.

13. No Sandcastles in Eraclea, Italy

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There are a lot of strange laws in Italy and although some make sense, this one baffles us completely. If you are heading to Eraclea, make sure you know that it is absolutely illegal to build sandcastles here. Lawmakers say that sandcastles “obstruct the passage” but try telling your five-year-old that it is actually illegal to do so. It is not known what the punishment is for breaking this law but you should probably leave your buckets and shovels at home when you head to this beach.

12. Check for Children, Denmark

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The road laws in Denmark actually say that you have to check under your car for children before going, but only sleeping children according to officials. We have absolutely no idea why this law came into effect but we have to wonder how the people of Denmark are raising their children if there is a chance someone might find them sleeping under their car. Regardless you can face fines and punishment if you accidentally forget to look under the car for those sleeping children before pulling out.

11. No Public Eating During Ramadan, United Arab Emirates

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If you plan on traveling to the United Arab Emirates during Ramadan, the holy month, you should definitely know the laws during the fasting hours. First up the fasting hours are during daylight and if you think you are going to eat or drink in public without getting a fine, you would be wrong.

The price of the fine can range but just recently two tourists were charged $275 each for taking a drink of juice in public. Make sure you stick to your hotel room if you want to eat lunch, take a drink, or have any sort of public displays of affection with your partner. Because as most of you know, public displays of affection are also banned in this country.

10. Make sure you flush the Toilet in Singapore

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It is actually illegal not to flush the toilet in Singapore and if you thought officials didn’t enforce this law, you would be wrong. According to the law, you can face a fine of up to 5,000 Singapore dollars for not flushing a public toilet after using it. Officials have actually been known to do random spot checks and will certainly find any offender. While this law is strange we must admit we wish every country would put this law into place and crackdown on it. No one likes going to a washroom with a floater in it.

9. No noisy footwear, Capri, Italy

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Don’t plan on wearing your flip flops here, unless you have somehow managed to make them silent as wearing noisy footwear in Capri Italy is actually illegal. These peace-loving locals are serious about their peace and quiet and people have been both fined and arrested for wearing wooden clogs, noisy flip flops, and other shoes that don’t fit the quiet bill. Make sure you are also fully clothed when walking around this island as wearing just a bikini or without a shirt will also lead to a fine.

8. No Camouflage Clothing, Trinidad and Tobago

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Don’t plan on wearing anything that remotely resembles camouflage on your next trip to Trinidad and Tobago or you will be faced with a possible fine of up to $1000 and 18 months in prison. The law was put in effect as camouflage too closely resembles the uniform of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. It is even illegal for children to wear this kind of clothing. You will be in more trouble if you do break this law and someone mistakes you as part of the force. They take their military seriously around here.

7. Don’t Feed the Pigeons, Italy and San Francisco

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In both Italy and San Francisco along with a handle of other cities, it is illegal to feed those pesky pigeons. Yes, it may be tempting as they are one of the only birds brave enough to walk right up to your hand and eat out of it but pigeon feeders can be arrested and fined serious cash. So why is it illegal? It causes over breeding, health hazards, and a few more reasons that lawmakers cite every time someone gets arrested for the act. Some hypothesis the cities just don’t want to pay someone to clean up all the pigeon crap that constantly wreaks havoc on the sidewalks. Both ways, it’s a law and it is highly enforced.

6. Watch where you step, Thailand

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There are a number of strange laws in Thailand, such as it is illegal to leave your house without wearing underwear (we wonder who checks for this one) and you have to wear a shirt while driving a car. One of the strangest laws here though can easily be broken simply but not looking where you are going. It is actually illegal here to step on any Baht, the local currency. For example, if you drop a bill and it starts to fly away, don’t even think about stepping on it to stop it. You can get arrested and fined for stepping on any Baht currency here, as well as if you decide to throw it at a person in anger or deface it in any way.

5. No Overweight People, Japan

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It is the slimmest industrialized nation and it’s no surprise considering it is actually illegal to be overweight here. In 2008 lawmakers in Japan passed the Metabo Law, hoping that it would stop the dreaded metabolic syndrome from affecting aging populations.  Citizens here now have to comply with a government-imposed waistline standard, the maximum waistline size for anyone age 40 and older is 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) for men and 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) for women.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of health risks, including stomach flab, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol that can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The penalty for breaking this law is far from harsh though and individuals are required to attend a combination of counseling sessions, monitoring through phone and email correspondence, and motivational support.

4. Don’t Stop on the Autobahn, Germany

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The Autobahn in Germany is one of the last places on earth that you can drive as fast as you want and although many places have speed limits, there is still a fair number of long stretches where you can put the pedal to the medal. There are certain laws though that go with this privilege of driving however fast you want.

First off make sure you don’t run out of gas on this highway as it’s highly illegal. So is stopping on the side of the road. So is walking on the Autobahn. That’s three strikes against you if you happen to pull over because your gas needle is on empty and you have to walk to get gas. Don’t get caught as you can face $100 per fine, and you will be whacked with more than just one in this case.

3. Don’t Cheat in Hong Kong

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If you are a male, we highly suggest not cheating on your wife if you happen to reside in Hong Kong. This is because it is actually legal for a female to kill her cheating husband, as long as she uses her bare hands. Not just the husband but the women who have been with him is also allowed to be killed by the wide, but by any manner she chooses.

There are numerous forms of punishment for wives who have been cheated on, in case they don’t feel like committing murder. Wives can send their cheating husbands away to a work camp for up to two years, the wife can claim half the possessions given to the secret lover and they can even demand compensation from their husbands.

2. No Chewing Gum, Singapore

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A ban on the sale, import, and manufacture of chewing gum in Singapore took effect on 3 January 1992 and the law still exists today. In 2004 therapeutic chewing gum was allowed into the country and dental and nicotine gum are exceptions, but only from a prescription from your doctor.

This law was created in large part because the local railway system was being vandalized but it can be dated back to 1983 when the former prime minister was fed up with the amount of chewing gum that was being left on sidewalks, in mailboxes, and in elevators. Then the MRT started running in 1987 and vandals began sticking chewing gum to the doors, causing the sensors to malfunction. In 1992 Goh Chok Tong took over as president and immediately banned chewing gum.

1. Leave your bible at home, Maldives

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This Muslim nation is serious about their religion and owning a bible here is illegal and can get you thrown right out of the country. The Islamic government here prevents its citizens from converting to any other religion other than Muslim and non-obeyers can face serious consequences. The few that did convert are forced to meet underground. If you plan on moving here and want to be accepted as a citizen, you best leave that bible at home and prepare to convert to the Muslim faith.

The 7 Best Spots to Soak Up Some Sun in Italy

The country can claim The Mona Lisa, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and slurp-worthy spaghetti as its own, but Italy’s not only home to incredible art, architecture, and food — you can also find some of the world’s best beaches on Italy’s coasts. From the turquoise blue waters of the island of Capri to the excellent people watching along the beaches of the Italian Riviera, here are the top spots to soak up some sun on your next Italian getaway:

7. Cala Granara

So it takes a bit of commitment to get to Cala Granara, a picture-perfect beach on the shores of the tiny island of Spargi, part of the Maddalena Islands in the deep blue Sardinian Sea, but in this case, embarking on the journey is just as fun as relaxing at the destination. To get to the island, you’ll need to hire a small boat at La Maddelena to take you over to Spargi. The only thing better than relaxing on the sand of Cala Granara is relaxing on the boat that gets you there; the gentle rocking of the ocean’s waves beneath your boat just might lull you to sleep! Once on the island, you’ll want to wake up to take in the gorgeous scenery, including rocky outcroppings rising from the island, glass clear inlets of cool water, and unmatched vistas of wild, isolated Italian beauty.

Cala Granara

6. Cala Goloritze

Goats, pigs, and donkeys, oh my! The little shepherd’s town of Baunei on Sardinia offers lots of delights for the animal lover, and an amazing beach nearby to boot. To take in all the sights, lace up your hiking boots and explore the six mile trail that juts off from Baneui to the Altopiano del Golgo, a forlorn plateau filled with animals grazing among the scrub and trees. Ready to head to the beach? The Cala Goloritze awaits down by the shore, with shocking blue water and otherworldly limestone rock formations popular with climbers. Oh, and one more tip — don’t forget your snorkel! The water off of Cala Goloritze is the perfect place to spot some fish and other sea creatures.

Cala Goloritze

5. Chiaia di Luna

At Chiaia di Luna, there isn’t much room to lay out a huge beach blanket and lounge around. That’s because a huge cliff rises up straight from the beach, leaving a pretty narrow strip of sand that leads into the cool blue bay. What Chiaia di Luna lacks in roominess, though, it makes up for in sheer beauty — the sight of the pale, dramatic cliff looming above the unbelievably blue waters below is a sight you won’t soon forget. You’ll find this charming, unique beach on the island of Ponza, located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off Italy’s central coast in between Rome and Naples. If you’re looking to escape the sun’s rays for a bit, try embarking on a diving expedition while on Ponza; the area is a diver’s delight.

Chiaia di Luna

4. Spiaggia delle due Sorelle

Is a beach without sand really a beach? After visiting Spiaggia delle due Sorelle, you’ll answer that question with a resounding “yes”! This unique beach off the coast of Sirolo, Italy, is actually made up of small smooth white pebbles, instead of sand. Walk along this beach to give yourself a foot message. When you take a dip in the incredibly clear water, make sure you turn around to look back at the beach — visitors claim that the best view of Spiaggia delle due Sorelle is the one from the ocean, since you get to see the dramatic whitewashed cliffs soaring above the pebble beach below. You can reach this one-of-a-kind Italian beach either by shuttle or by boat from Porto Numana.

Spiaggia delle due Sorelle

3. Paraggi Beach, Portofino

Get in touch with your inner sun god or goddess at this ritzy beach, located just a short drive from the port town of Portofino in the Italian Riviera. If you like your sun and surf served up with a side of celebrity, then this is your spot — it’s not uncommon to see the rich and famous (and often extremely good looking) strolling along Paraggi’s shoreline. No celebrity sightings? No worries, you still have the breathtakingly beautiful blue Ligurian Sea to gawk at. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and quality shops nearby to keep you busy when you start to get a little too tan from lying out in Italy’s sun. If you’re not staying in a hotel right near the beach, it’s still an easy spot to get to; buses run from Portofino to the beach about every fifteen minutes.

Paraggi Beach

2. La Guardia, Elba

The Tuscan region of Italy is more known for its famous vineyards and olive groves than its beaches, but the Tuscan island of Elba can hold its own when it comes to lazy living down by the shore. Elba is Italy’s third largest island, and it offers up nearly endless delights along the shores of its 150 beaches. The best beach on Elba, though, is arguably la Guardia, where dramatic dark cliffs plunge into the deep blue sea below. Elba’s beaches can get suffocatingly crowded, especially during the summer months, but la Guardia stays relatively quiet all year round. So if you prefer listening to the sound of crashing waves over the chatter of other beach goers, then this is the Italian beach for you.

La Guardia

1. Capri

The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has long been famed as an escape for the rich and famous. Once you arrive on the island, after taking a ferry from either Naples or Sorrento, try to snag a spot on a boat tour down at the marina — boating around the island is absolutely the best way to soak up the sun at Capri. If you’re lucky, your boat captain will be well versed in celebrity sightings, and hopefully he can point out the opulent villas that once housed the likes of Mariah Carey, Jackie Onassis, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, tucked high above the blue water on dramatic cliffs. A must-stop on your Capri boat tour? The Blue Grotto, a sea cave that glitters with a brilliant blue glow, thanks to two small holes that allow sunlight to flood the cave. You’ll need to transfer into a tiny rowboat to make it into the opening of the cave, but the transfer is most definitely worth it.

Capri

10 Most Overrated Attractions in the World

Travel is a matter of personal taste. Where you go depends on what you like to do when you’re away from home. You might choose locations based on the nightlife, or the swimming and athletics, or the hiking trails. No matter how you choose, there are some locations that everyone brings up when they talk about travel. Among the many tourist destinations around the world, some are simply way over-hyped. Avoid these ten destinations when planning a trip, unless you want to be disappointed.

10. Las Vegas Strip

Unless you’re really into gambling, Las Vegas will be an impressive half hour and a weekend of remorse. The strip is more theme park than city, but if you stray too far in the wrong direction, you end up in a bad neighborhood. Really, the average visit is more likely to end up like The Hangover than Casino Royale.

Las Vegas Nevada

9. The London Eye

The London Eye is one of the top tourist locations in London, which is a damn shame. The city is full of fabulous attractions, from historic sites to museums to monuments. There’s no reason to visit a glitzy Ferris wheel just because it dominates the skyline. There are better monuments and better amusement parks.

The London Eye

8. Dublin’s Temple Bar

Dublin is known for its pubs, and it seems like visiting one billed as the cultural center of the city would be a great idea. Unfortunately, the culture you’ll experience in the Temple Bar is the tourist culture. There are far better pubs within walking distance with a better atmosphere and better prices.

Dublin's Temple Bar

7. The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Are you excited by handprints and sidewalks? Unless you are, the walk of fame isn’t going to excite you. It’s not exactly impressive to say you’ve walked on concrete that a celebrity had their hands in. At the same time, you’ll face crowds of tourists, the constant noise of tourist trap vendors and glimpses of the homeless just around the corner.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
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6. Capri’s Blue Grotto

A natural wonder filled with shockingly blue water is amazing to see. Unfortunately, you have to skip across to Capri on overpriced boats, and that’s assuming you can even access it. Chances are good that the weather will turn foul and your chances to see the grotto are ruined.

Capri's Blue Grotto

5. Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of those ancient wonders of the world that crop up in bad sci-fi movies and pseudo-science babble. Regardless of the actual purpose of this mysterious collection of standing rocks, it’s not very interesting to visit. You can’t access the stones themselves due to a protective fence, and nearby highways thoroughly kill the mystical ambiance.

Stonehenge

4. Loch Ness

Located in a dreary, out of the way corner of Scotland, Loch Ness has been the center of rumors about prehistoric monsters and dinosaurs for ages. Today, all you’ll see are gray skies, dull water and a load of vendors selling stuffed Nessie dolls. There are far better places to visit in Scotland than this dull narrow lake.

Loch Ness

3. Prague

Prague is known as something of a cultural center for writers, hipsters and those indie artists who can’t seem to actually reach fame. It has beautiful architecture, but so do a thousand other European cities. You don’t need to waste your time with thieves and tourists in this particular corner of the world.

Old Town Prague

2. Egyptian Pyramids

The great pyramids are massive feats of ancient engineering and construction. They’re also incredibly old and falling apart. Not only are they hardly visually impressive after their media saturation, they’re also off-limits to the public. You won’t be fighting off a mummy’s curse, but you might be caught in a political uprising.

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1. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

If you drive for a few hours, you’ll probably find a local university near your home. Chances are this university has some kind of bell tower. Does that bell tower sound like an amazing tourist attraction? If not, you probably won’t enjoy it any more if it’s tilted a few degrees and crowds of people are taking pictures pretending to push it back.

Leaning Tower of Pisa