7 Activities That Could Get You Jailed (or Killed) While Traveling

It’s your first time traveling outside your home country’s borders and you’re scared. Naturally … there are many dangerous places out there. Maybe you simply fear potential misunderstandings; something as subtle as showing someone the underside of your foot is enough to offend locals in many countries.

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But the major factor is the unknown, what drives us to leave home in the first place. You don’t know how people live their lives in another culture. You can’t understand why some just don’t like Americans. You’re blissfully ignorant of local laws, laws you believe apply only to the citizens of a nation you just happen to be visiting …

Ignorance of a relatively important local law could cost you your life.

Let’s look back at Ancient Egypt. True, many laws around this time centered around heresy and arcane customs, but even those residents of “civilized” parts of the world (i.e. the Roman Empire) might have been caught off guard during visits to Cairo. Cats, as you may know, were sacred to the Egyptians, their likeness used to represent goddesses like Bast and Sekhmet. More to the point, the punishment for the killing of a cat, even unintentionally, was death. In this case, ignorance of a relatively important local law could have cost you your life.

Others today can still cost your freedom, your livelihood and quite possibly your life. Here are seven activities abroad that may do just that:

No prison bars as strong as my will
No prison bars as strong as my will © assbach

#1: Transporting Drugs, Southeast Asia

A British man was recently executed in China after being suspected of smuggling heroin. The facts of this case are unclear despite the crystal-clear sentence by Chinese authorities. However, there are two things in this world you can be certain of: don’t carry illegal substances across borders and the stupidest thing is to do so in Asia.

Granted, many western countries have severe consequences for such crimes, but nowhere on earth is the punishment as swift and brutal as we see in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Just ask Samantha Orobator, a British woman arrested and sentenced to death by firing squad in Laos last May. She was given a life sentence after authorities discovered she had been pregnant; whether this was a tactic to escape execution, rape, or something else is unknown.

In Singapore, anyone in possession of as little as 3 grams of morphine or 15 grams of cannabis receives an automatic death sentence … by hanging.

#2: Trespassing, Texas

Will Be Shot Again
Will Be Shot Again © Orin Zebest

Let’s say you make a career of peeping or breaking and entering … just humor me. So you thought one of any number of US states would be ideal for such an intrusion. Guess again: half of all states have what’s called castle laws in effect, which allow landowners to injure, shoot, even kill those violating their property without any legal restraints.

That’s right: you can shoot trespassers point-blank and not be sued or criminally tried. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Girl Scouts beware.

#3: Insulting the King, Thailand

“Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

The Lese Majeste Law in Thailand, although never having resulted in the death penalty, I mention for its seemingly innocuous nature (and, some would argue, Thai prisons are worse than death). Royalty is given respect above and beyond anything westerners can understand, even citizens of countries with monarchies still in place. When the royal anthem is played on loudspeakers across the city at certain hours every day, people are expected to drop their work and turn to the nearest flag.

Dropping a coin, which bears the king’s image, is almost sacrilege; intentionally step on a Baht note, and you could find yourself in prison rather quickly. Unlike David McMillan, you won’t have the means to mount an escape.

#4: Killing a Cow, India and Nepal

Resting Cows
Resting Cows © betta design

This is actually not as black and white as it seems. Some people do in fact eat beef in India and Nepal and do not find themselves in handcuffs within the hour. In India, slaughtering a cow for food or even accidentally hitting it with a car can result in a steep sentence … anywhere from one year to life behind bars and death.

In the Himalayan kingdom, there are very few “pure” Hindi who look upon bovines as sacred, and so some are punished only by officials looking to exact revenge, abusing their power. Either way, be careful when you drive, and resist the temptation for a fresh hamburger.

#5: Not Carrying ID, Japan

Quadrilingual sign: Alien Registration #8215
Quadrilingual sign: Alien Registration #8215 © Nemo’s great uncle

Some of you probably think I’m joking: a civilized country like Japan would lock me up just for failing to present ID? Yes, they would. In the land of the rising sun, all foreign residents are required to carry their “gaijin card” (外国人登録証) or passport AT ALL TIMES. No exceptions. If you happen to walk past a policeman who feels it’s his sacred duty to protect his country from “dangerous foreigners”, he will most likely inspect your ID.

Fail to present this, and you could find yourself behind bars for 23 days with absolutely no contact from the outside world: 3 days’ initial interrogation, which can be extended twice by 10 days upon a judge’s approval. This is true of anyone suspected of a crime, not just foreigners who may have rushed out the door and forgotten a vital form of government-issued paper. Even when I went for long runs, my gaijin card was tucked safely inside my pocket.

#6: Eating in Public, United Arab Emirates

There are all kinds of activities prohibited under Islamic law. Several British citizens have been arrested in Dubai for engaging in drunken premarital sex and given months in prison. This can be avoided easily enough if you’re not traveling with a date or looking for a local hook up, but what about eating?

Just be careful during the holy month of Ramadan, when you can be fined or jailed for eating in public during daylight hours (depending on the country), essentially mocking the prayers of those around you. Even when you’re visiting an Islamic nation that might have open restaurants for visitors, be respectful.

#7: Calling the Police, Korea

I’m hesitant to include this particular story, but I have heard similar accounts across Asia and Africa. I suppose it begins with a certain fear of the police force of any country, those with the power to throw you behind bars at their discretion, even if you can’t understand what you’re being charged with or how long you’ll be behind bars.

Take the Metropolitician, a foreign resident of Korea who found himself being harassed by a drunk racist local while working on a photoshoot outside of Seoul. He ignored him. He walked away. He escaped to a restaurant. Once the man followed him in there and just wouldn’t let up with his hate speech, he finally called the police … and found himself arrested.

The reason? The drunk, racist, idiot says he kicked him. Of course his word, as a Korean, is more trustworthy, and the “dangerous foreigner” should be arrested, which he was.

The police’s advice? “You should have just gone home. You shouldn’t have called us. Next time, just leave.”

And that is the moral of this particular story. When you’re the foreigner, and you haven’t done anything wrong, RUN. Otherwise, all the person has to do is lie, and you’re guilty until proven innocent. Even if they’re a drunk, nearly homeless loser without even a single witness to corroborate his lies.

What seeminginly innocuous acts have gotten you into trouble abroad? Share your travel stories in the comments below!

  1. I broke the Thai law *within* the Royal Palace wall, yikes. It was a hypothetical statement that went something like this: “If I were King, I wouldn’t charge foreigners extra to use my restrooms”. My friend immediately gasped and shot a quick to glance at the nearby guards to make sure they didn’t hear me. I was hot (from the required extra clothing), hungry, and tired and was fed up with being treated like, well, a foreigner. It was a moment of weakness.

  2. Very interesting stuff, Turner! Also, landing at the Dubai Airport with any evidence of any type of illicit drug, such as a tiny speck of marijuana stuck to the sole of your shoe, or even some controlled prescription medications can get you four years in prison, legend has it. Of course, this is not as drastic as death by hanging…

  3. Surprises at the idea of being arrested in Japan for not having ID? There are several laws in the US that are trying to make it a felony to refuse or be unable to produce ID.

  4. I had an incursion with the US Embassy (I’m a citizen), because I was taking a picture of the American Flag and the Turkish Flag together… apparently you’re not supposed to take pictures of the embassy, at all. I am now much wiser and I wasn’t arrested, but I had to delete the picture. :( I still think it sucks… since it was obviously just a picture of flags the embassy wasn’t even in the photo, but if I didn’t cooperate I would have been arrested.

    1. “What seeminginly innocuous acts have gotten you into trouble abroad? Share your travel stories in the comments below!”

      Made the mistake of asking a policeman in the Philippines for directions once (i’m English). He asked for my driving licence and when i handed it over he refused to give it back “give me 2000 pesos or i keep your licence and say you ran a red light”

      Travel tip – Don’t go near the police in Asian countries. A lot of them are just government hired criminals.

  5. Well I was referring to this part: “When you’re the foreigner, and you haven’t done anything wrong, RUN. Otherwise, all the person has to do is lie, and you’re guilty until proven innocent.”

    Not sure I’d agree on the running part. Depends on the situation I guess.

    But I don’t like running.

    1. no because my dad said once police took him in to question him and fined him for not having his passport to show while he was skiing they apparently said that he will pay $5,000 for this or be arrested for felony infringed ran away after going on a field trespassin being shot and he nearly died so I nearly was not born but he paid them sorry but plenty reason to hate america

  6. Actually, I would really agree with that. If you’re visiting a foreign country and haven’t done anything wrong, all it takes is one spiteful or stupid local to land you in major trouble.

  7. I don’t know about other countries but in Turkey a foreigner can almost do no wrong. The police and the locals will always stick up for the “misafir” (guests)and go out of their way to make them feel protected. I’ve seen cases where the tourists were wrong but were given a pass because of their natural ignorance towards the local laws.
    It’s intimidating enough to be on foreign soil no point scaring them for petty little stuff. Majority of tourists visiting Turkey do so yearly for decades not only because there is so much to see but they do so in a welcome environment. Relaxing for them, fun for the Turks making new friends and a big boost for the economy. Win, win, win.

  8. Recently I was at the Revolution museum in Havana Cuba and while walking from one building to the next, I managed to step off of the concrete sidewalk and onto the grass. Instantly, a hostile looking soldier with an automatic weapon appeared and angrily motioned me back onto the sidewalk. Ah… isn’t communism wonderful? Thanks for that one pal.

  9. #2 “travelling in texas”
    actually texans are in general, friendly, hospitable people. what can get you shot is committing, or attempting to commit a crime by force and violence. mind your own business and keep the peace and you’ll have no problem in texas.

  10. It sure does. I was studying in Spain and living with this woman who set me up. She showed me poetry that she kept under her mattress and also there was a lot of money there as well. She told me I could read the poetry anytime I wanted. I was uncomfortable and never went under the mattress to get the books.
    Next thing I know, she goes to the police and tells them I took the money – that I knew it was under there because I had seen it. I had to go to the police station and eventually court. Luckily, she gave up but what a hassle for me.
    Be so careful in a foreign country.

  11. I nearly got arrested in Belgium for crossing a small (8ft wide) car path against a walk/do not walk sign.

    Any path where a car can go in Belgium, there is a crossing with a light.

  12. Generally speaking almost nobody calls the police in Korea….however actually getting arrested takes an act of god no matter how many laws you break.

    Cops here are pretty laid back…..I wouldn’t worry about them unless you run somebody over or get caught DUI….then your screwed.

  13. having been around the world 2x……..the dangers are real………….except if one is US military……

  14. Jean Charles, brazilian imigrant in England, had done nothing wrong, ran and was shot to death by the police in London. I don’t think “run if you haven’t done anything wrong” is a good advice.

  15. I spent three months volunteering in Bangkok, and while I was there got into some trouble with an off duty police man at one of the popular tourist bars, Khosan Rd. for those who know Bangkok. Anyways, I paid for entrance to the bars music venue, and the man denied my ticket, telling me I had to pay again. I told heim he was tyring to pull one over on me and said I should notify the tourist police, he did not take kindly, and slapped me. Next thing I know he has come around the bar and is full on laying into me.
    Ended up breaking my jaw, luckily a few Irish blokes saw and were having none of it.
    Cheers for that one mates.

  16. Your post about UAE reminded me of my experience during Ramadan. I was so hungry (really hungry) that I had no option but to take my lunch of two donuts inside the mall’s toilet..

    a grossing out experience but still a better option than to land in jail!

  17. Seems that you have exaggerated lots of things, such as death penalty for hitting for cow. Thus, I hardly think your other facts are credbile.

  18. My husband had been riding a motorcycle in Vietnam (a scooter really, Chinese make and no grunt at all!) for several months to and from work. On the roads in Vietnam you have to watch out for everyone, there are no hard and fast road rules. Anyway, a kid on a bicycle in front of him was weaving all over the place so he was going as slow as possible without having the bike fall over. Suddenly the kid just shoots out in front of him, he jams on the brakes but nicks the back tyre and the kid gets knocked off his bike. The kid is unharmed, just a bit shocked and stands there crying, everyone comes out from their houses and stands around talking about what happened. My husband is like “OK, this is it, I am going to get the bejaysus knocked out of me” when this guy comes over and says “It’s OK, you go.” He’s like “Are you sure?” and the guy says “Yes, you go.” He got on his bike and he never looked back.

  19. Fun article! I know many places that people will really frown upon you if you eat in public during the day time of Ramadan, and this doesn’t include Istanbul, especially in the touristy area.

  20. Interesting stuff! I’m about to be traveling for a while, and while I definitely don’t plan on most of those things (carrying drugs in Asia, no thanks!)… I’ll be more wary about complaining to the police now.

  21. Southeast Asia’s penalties for drug possession may seem extreme, and they are extreme, but those countries make it abundantly clear from the moment you enter their borders what the penalties for drug possession are. I recall visiting Indonesia last May and a huge, bright red “Drug Smugglers Are Put To Death” sign was the first thing I saw when I deplaned. Thailand similar. So… no one can really claim ignorance of that law…

    1. It says when you enter the airport in huge white on black l!! drug WILL BE PUNISHED BY DEATH.
      Myself that should be taken seriously.
      Maybe its just me. Yeah right!!

  22. I’d love to disagree with the alarmist feel of your article but my experience tends to support it :P

    Though about Japan, my own experience has been that yes you do need your ID on you at all times and yes they will take you to a police station if you can contact someone who can bring your ID to the station they’ll let you out. It’s not great, but i’d hardly call it incommunicado or indefinite detention.

  23. Being a foriener can help, being in thailand for sometime I owned a modified motorbike, which was about 50db over the limmit, Must have been pulled up by the dirty corrupt piggers 5 times and got away completly free by playing stupid, there are some other times I had to pay the standard 100 baht bribe about ($3) But I’ve had some stupid friends scamed out of big bucks due to their lack of street sence, and getting bullied by corrupt piggers, filthy creatures…

  24. South Korea is definitely off my list. I’ve heard too many stories about psychotic locals treating foreigners like crap.

  25. Generally, being a foreigner in the Philippines is a good thing. People will bend over backwards at the sight of a foreigner.

    Sure there are dirty cops and evil cab drivers that will try to suck the life out of you but generally, foreign tourists, travelers and residents are somewhat king… playing dumb is a vvvveeeeerrrrry good card to play.

  26. I was working in Indonesia the last time. I normally drive from my work place to where I reside. One morning as I woke up, I found that there’s so many people outside my home. And so, I went out to check it out. A biker knocked onto my car and died there. I was questioned why I parked my car there. I said it’s the parking lot for my home here. I was brought to court because if I didn’t parked my car there the biker would not have died. I was like ‘Huh’?? I was fine Rp 1,000,000 for that which is about $200 Singapore dollars. Damn it!!

  27. “Japan would lock me up just for failing to present ID? Yes, they would. In the land of the rising sun, all foreign residents are required to carry”
    Japan? How about the US-I have been in jail several times for no ID. 15 yrs ago-you can be very sure it is much, much worse now.

  28. Hello,
    What a sense less note regarding UAE, the writer had mentioned that: There are all kinds of activities prohibited under Islamic law, what a stupid comment, for the kind of information there is no Islamic Laws followed/Imposed by UAE.
    Islamic Law is there at KSA, not in UAE, if the writer thinks he is correct than let me ask him what the hack going in and around Bur Dubai, Prostitution is free, do the writer thinks that it is allowed as per the Islamic Law.
    No never.
    Before commenting better to study and gather correct knowledge.

  29. STFU Rich Cook & AHS. Stop lying. There are no laws like that in the US.

    If anything the police “held” , not arrested you, until they could find out your actual, real ID.

    You got arrested for breaking some other law or being a douchebag liar, like your post, as lying to the PO-PO is breaking the law.

    Voter ID laws are another topic.

  30. I can’t guarantee what was written about Japan, but I’ll assume it is true.

    As for Korea, most of the police you’ll be seeing are KIDS – serving a couple of years with the local police is an alternative to the two years of military service. After two years in Korea, I’ve never had a problem with them. The Korean people on the whole are extremely friendly and engaging.

    Insulting the Thai king is illegal EVERYWHERE – if they can prove you insulted the Thai royals in America or Ireland, they will happily arrest you after you’re off the plane in Bangkok.

    Also, breaking and entering is a great way to get yourself killed in any of the United States. The owner of the house will be seen as a hero by most Americans.

    Including this one.

  31. I recently was called aside by security when I was opening a water bottle for my three year old in Dubai mall during Ramadan .

  32. I live in china and is the safest place on the planet, just don’t talk about politics, or religion, by the way who cares, never had problem here, because if u fight one than ,they will come after you in 20, it’s a matter of size………….and u can’t be sure to get the police a right description how they were looks like…………part of the game, by the way the most friendly country in the world, u don’t bother them they wont bother you!
    and there are no firearms! even the cops don’t have, what this tell you? they know how to punish you, they don’t need guns…………………………China lovely country

    never go back to Thai again. Max

  33. You can also get arrested in most states here in the US for not carrying a legal form of ID….New Orleans is the only place I’ve ever heard of it being enforced, though {my roomie even had a buggy driver co~worker of his get arrested and his mule and buggy impounded cause, while he had his buggy driver permit, with his picture on it and everything, he didnt have his state ID/DL on him.}

  34. While it’s legal to shoot someone if they’re on your property in Texas, in reality it’s not enforced. More likely what will happen is that they will sue you–and win. Especially if they’re not turned toward you (in which case it’s assumed they’re running away). This is one of those laws that people not from around Texas likes to take and blow it out of proportion saying “HAHA, LOOK HOW STUPID TEXAS IS.” It’s really getting old. ><

    In Japan the annoying thing is that they stop different people more than others. They're really really bad about profiling. If you're a small girl like me, chances are that you'll never get stopped. If you're a big, tall guy like my friend then you'll get stopped all. the. time.

    But all in all Japan is a really great place to live as a foreigner. People are nice, though distant if you're a foreigner, and it's very very hard to be seen as anything other than "The foreigner". You might be refused housing by wary landlords, but that will lessen if you know Japanese, and it's less now than it used to be 10 years ago. Anyway, if you look like a nice person in Japan, you'll be treated nicely. If you look like a mean person, then… it'll be a little harder for you, but not unreasonably hard (in my limited experience).

    By the way, in America it's not legal to stop someone without reason, foreigners included. Once you're stopped for other reasons, they can ask you for your ID… I believe. I'm not a foreigner in America so I'm fuzzy on the details, but this is how it was explained to me). If there are ever laws that make it okay to racially profile in America, I am vehemently against them, especially as I have to feel scared that I'm going to get stopped every time I'm outside in Japan. It's just unreasonable.

  35. Reading all this reminds me of a story I read once. It’s about (corrupt) police in the Philippines.

    During a trip to the Philippines I was drinking at a bar in Makati. At about 2 – 3 am I left the bar intending to walk around a bit and perhaps find another one. As soon as I walked outside of the bar a kid approached me asking me for money. Since I only had $100 bills in my pocket I declined to give him anything. He persisted and before long other street beggars started shouting “give the boy some food and money!!!” I again declined and started walking away. The street people began cussing at me and became very rude so I flipped them all off. I was then surrounded by them and the police were called. I believe (but am not sure) that these police were low level or barangay police in Makati’s red light district. They told me to go with them and when I asked them why they told me that somebody has a complaint against me. I asked who has a complaint and I was told that we would discuss it at the police station. While on the way to the police station I asked the men to proove that they were police and they showed me their guns. At the police station I was told to have a seat and a police officer told me that I could settle this now or settle this in court. I asked him what I did wrong and what I was accused of and he asked one of the street people that had come along what the complaint was. The street person told him that I had flipped off a boy on the street. The police officer then looked at me and told me that was the complaint and I could settle it by giving this street lady what she wanted or go to court. I asked him if I would go to jail and the officer told me I would go to jail unless I settled with this lady. I asked him how much it would cost me to settle and the lady replied that I had to give her 12,000 pesos. I didn’t have 12,000 pesos so I told her I didn’t have it. The policeman then responded by telling me that I should give all the money in my pockets and if that is not enough then he will take me to an ATM machine where I can get more money. The lady then told me that she will take dollars. I told them both that I have committed no crime and won’t give anything. The policeman then asked for my ID and then muttered under his breath that I was going to learn the hard way and started typing a report. At this point I became scared and paid the lady $300. She gave $200 to the policeman and kept $100 for herself.

    What could I have done to avoid this situation or avoid paying these cops?

    ************ END

    Now I read somewhere else that the best thing to do would have been to pay the officer off. Also said to pay that one officer and get it over with, because if other cops come, it can get pretty $expensive$. And the worse thing you could do, if you got arrested and put in jail (for no reason), is to call your embassy, because all they will do is make sure that your rights are upheld, but then you would be in jail for quite awhile, because in the Philippines they tend to move VERY slow with their cases. So it would be a long time before your case is even heard. And then there is the whole situation with corrupt judges, prosecutors and lawyers etc., it’s a mess- everybody is basically getting bribe/paid off. Corruption in the Philippines is wide spread rampant from your basic traffic police all the way up to the top. Your only hope is to pay.

  36. While waiting for a plane in Manila, I saw a sign warning travellers to HongKong that arriving at HK airport while in possession of ammunition, live or fake, even decorational ammo could get you 19 years in prison.

    While on the Philippines, I agree with an earlier commenter that in the Philippines people will bend over backwards to facilitate foreigners, but aside from running into a dirty cop, there are a few things you should NOT do in the Philippines:
    -Have sex with a minor. Sure, it happens a lot and people do get away with it, but if you are caught you are not going to be home for a long time (and rightfully so)
    -Be in the company of a minor if he/she is 10 years your junior.
    That means that if you are 25 and you take a 17 year old to a McDonalds it is OK, but if you are 27, you are committing a felony. The problem with that law is that – like many filipino laws- it is defined very broad. Suppose you are 30 and you are meeting up with your 25 year old girlfriend, who happens to bring her 17 year old sister along??
    Suppose you are 28, eating in a busy McDonalds and there is a girl of 17 who sits down next to you and you strike up a conversation. Are you then “in the company of a minor, 10 years your junior, in a room, public place, beerhall or any other tourist place”?.
    -Make pornography, sure you say, you don’t. You only make ‘artistic nudes’ of adult women, but mind you, that what you call ‘artistic nudes’ and what wouldnt get any attention in your home country in europe or america will probably considered as ‘pornographic’ in the Philippines.
    Sure, many people do make nudes and many get away with it and that is the ‘problem’ with the laws in the Philippines. Often they are very ill defined and there is a attitude of live and let live, but if you are on the radar, or some policeofficer or politician wants to make a point, you are screwed.
    Ok, another one (happened to a British citizen): you fall in love with a Filipina and have sex with her. She told you she is in fact married but she and her husband are separated and estranged and she is getting an anullment.
    Sadly though her estranged husband has a friend, whose cousin’s brother in law has a neighbour who works in your hotel and warns the husband thathis wife has spend the night with you, he can have you arrested and you will go to jail for I think 4 years.
    You are still lucky then because if the husband would have come to the hotel and find his wife in bed with you, he could have shot you and ‘get away with it’.
    “Get away with it’? Well, technically not, he may be sentenced to ‘banishment’ which means that for a specific amount of time he is not allowed within (I think) 20 kilometers of your house and the place of the crime.

  37. Two things u mention are untrue and highly exaggerated and racist..
    1) Its racist to just assume ancient Roman empire was ‘civilized’ while most of other Asian or Eastern ones were backward.. I can cherry pick and say Romans and Greeks were highly uncivilized because of practicing blood sports and slavery and lot of cruelty

    2) I dont know bt Nepal, but in India, yes true cow is sacred because of which they allow cows to move anywhere freely (like in the middle of traffic) which I honestly agree is crazy.. But lol hurting a cow accidentally will never end up in steep sentence like life sentence.. but yes suppose you publicly kill a cow, local people might be offended.. but most states dont have any laws banning cow slaughter although some do have.. But most have specified restrictions like time, place when it could be done..

  38. if you think the above is bad , what about just been a honest tourist in the philippines . look at how corrupt the police are out there . most important read the articles from father shay cullen .

    this is the youtube ref eanna in the philippines


    Irish priest Shay Cullen has published articles in the manila times and other national newspapers ref this case .

    Please read the articles

    father shay cullen is a irish priest out in the philippines who runs a charity called http://www.preda.org/

    recently in the manila times and papers abroad he ran these two articles

    i am sure you will agree it makes some interesting reading .

    Please look at this CNN report ref other people that have been set up for a fall out side in the Philippines .


    this is eannas on line petition web site


    tourist are been targetted big time by corrupt police in the philippines .

  39. Don’t go to the Philippines as things are out of control here. I have been set up and sentenced to 12 years in prison for alleged marijuana possession which the cops planted on me Minuit before boarding a connecting flight back to London. Makati and Malati and Laoag city are particularly dangerous because of total corruption at every level

  40. I’m currently working here in China where I’ve been for the past 4 years. I can definitely say that China is extremely safe for people who come for tourism, business or work reasons. However, I’m preparing to get married in Philippines to my girl who I met here in China. Between this article & comments and my girl’s stories about foreigners getting the shake down, worries me as I know the Philippines is suppose to be fun and locals very friendly. These stories definitely put concern into my future travels there.

  41. “What seemingly innocuous acts have gotten you into trouble abroad? Share your travel stories in the comments below!”

    Made the mistake of asking a policeman in the Philippines for directions once when i first moved here (i’m English). He asked for my driving licence and when i handed it over he refused to give it back “give me 2000 pesos or i keep your licence and say you ran a red light”

    I was stopped another time for no reason and had the police try to con money out of me. Luckily after the first incident i purchased a gopro camera to record while driving. After a showing the police the camera i was allowed to go without paying the money they were demanding.

    Travel tip – Don’t go near the police in Asian countries. A lot of them are just government hired criminals. Literally! The government hire them to steal money from the public when the elections are coming up. This is how they raise money for election campaigns here.

  42. Watch the cops reasoning and justification for trying to arrest them. He says they they don’t have rights and need the permission from his superior to do anything in their own land. And he also says what ever you did or what ever you dint do is all crime. I mean does any of that make sense?

  43. A drunk, racist Korean attacked a foreigner alone? He must have been REALLY drunk. Koreans are usually gutless and won’t fight unless they have a three to one numerical advantage. If the advantage is any less, they’re spineless. You could stamp your foot on the ground and two would turn tail and run.

    The best solution to dealing with Korean bigots is speak a language other than English. Most anti-foreigner bigotry by Koreans is anti-yank, not anti-white. If you can speak French, German, Italian or something else convincingly enough, they’ll bugger off. (Spanish is probably no good because many yanks can speak it.) Dust off what you learnt in high school or get a phrase book for a non-violent self-defense that works most of the time.

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