Quirky Laws From Around The World

Whilst most of us have a strong idea of what’s right and wrong in our own country, this may not be true when travelling to other nations around the world. Believe it or not, certain countries have some rather strange rules in place which could land you in hot water if you were to inadvertently go against any of them.

Let’s take a look at a selection of the most weird and wacky examples.

A Cruel End



There is commonly thought to be a law in Hong Kong whereby the wives of cheating husbands are permitted to kill them if they use nothing but their bare hands. This law is said to be one of the reasons why there has been a building boom just across the border in China where Hong Kong residents have started to house their extra-marital lovers.

These wavering men would be in double trouble were they to live in the Spitsbergen city of Longyearbyen though. Due to the unrelenting permafrost, it has been made illegal to die in this part of Svalbard and so anyone found to be gravely ill is flown to mainland Norway. Incidentally, you can visit Longyearbyen for yourself on one of our fascinating expedition cruises.

Getting Your Fill


Travellers heading to Denmark may be interested to know that anyone dining at an inn is not compelled to pay for their food unless, to their own satisfaction, they are ‘full’.

You can’t go getting your fill of watermelon in Indiana, USA though as eating the fruit in public parks has been banned. This is said to be because the skins often pierce rubbish liners and cause all sorts of mess.

Kids in France are not able to perfect the ‘cover it in ketchup and chew quickly’ method of eating food they don’t like as the condiment is banned from all primary schools. Officials have deemed that the tomato sauce masks the taste of food and stops children experiencing new flavours.

Money, Money, Money

Step On Money

Most countries have a depiction of their ruler on their notes and coins, but it seems that King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand is the most concerned with preserving his image. Disrespect towards the royal family is taken very seriously in the country and so stepping on a bank note or defacing money in any way is strictly forbidden.

Although not really a law, the U.S Office of Currency Controls is obliged to replace your banknote as long as you have at least 51% of it in your possession. Japan also likes to look after their currency and that’s why ATMs are fitted with technology to allow them to heat each note before it is dispensed. This not only straightens it out but also removes up to 90% of the bacteria.

Save The Date

Birthday Cake

Anyone who has ever forgotten their wife’s birthday will be glad that they don’t live in Samoa. This absent-minded mistake is a crime in this Pacific territory, surely leading to a large increase in sales of calendars across the country.

Animal Antics


If you ever find yourself flying over Alaska and there is a moose on the plane, you would be ill-advised to try and push it out. In order to preserve the image of its nation animal, Alaskan officials have made this act illegal. Other strange animal laws include Danish drivers having to stop and cover their car with a sheet if it disturbs a passing horse pulling a cart, and the fact that no one in France is allowed to call a pig Napoleon. Let’s hope none of them have read George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Armed with this new information you are now in a much better position to explore the world without getting into trouble. If you would like the team at Fred.\ to help you do this then please call us on the number at the top of the page or submit an online enquiry. We can offer all types of holidays, including cruises, land tours and European city breaks.

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