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When traveling from country to country, local laws and regulations can vary from what someone is used to in their home country (sometimes drastically, for example caning in Singapore for visiting foreigners overstaying their visa by more than 90 days). When visiting other countries, what is the best way to learn the difference between their legal code and the one you're accustomed to, to avoid any unpleasant surprises?

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Note that Overstaying in Singapore will not result to cane punishment. It's a MTYH. You will just need to pay fine. You'll need more severe offense to get caned. I you are refering to Wikipedia, you will note that the URL link is no longer valid. –  Rudy Gunawan Dec 29 '11 at 6:54
    
@Rudy: Was it changed recently then? I found one news article mentioning it as recently as October 2010. –  jrdioko Dec 29 '11 at 7:03
    
Kamari Charlton was arrested and caned because of his involvement in money laundering and phone scam , which is a crime that can result in cane punishment. It's just a coincidence that he was overstaying. –  Rudy Gunawan Dec 29 '11 at 7:08
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According to <statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/…;, caning is a mandatory punishment for overstaying more than 90 days. (Immigration Act, Chapter 133, 15(3)(b)) –  Heng-Cheong Leong Jan 6 '12 at 9:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The ministries of foreign affairs of many countries offer travel advice on their websites.

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/updates_mise-a-jour-eng.asp

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs_909/index.html

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Index

etc ...

These sites are well known for their advice on safety and security and entry requirements. Nevertheless, they also have sections on "local laws and customs". Look for instance what the FCO says about Singapore.

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Singapore gets WAY too much bad rep than it deserves. –  Ankur Banerjee Dec 28 '11 at 19:22

If I have the slightest doubt that something I am gonna to do is legal in the country I just ask some local people about it. Depending on the activity I even ask a police man.

Plus I read a bit about any country I am visiting in a guide book. If there are certain laws that are very different from the 'Western World' they are usually mentioned in guide books.

That should cover you for most things you do as a tourist.

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