Don't Get Naked On Vacation and Other Legal Travel Warnings

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 11, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Vacations are a time to go wild, but don't go too wild. You may get arrested.

Four tourists were arrested in Malaysia last month after they got naked on a sacred mountain and caused an earthquake.

The Photo Op

Back in May, 10 tourists climbed up Mount Kinabalu on the island of Borneo, which is partially owned by Malaysia. In the near freezing temperature, the tourist took off all of their clothes, and took pictures in their birthday suits on the mountain.

A week later, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck near the mountain and killed 18 people. Locals blame the tourists for angering the mountain with their disrespect and causing the earthquake.


While there may be no proof that the naked tourists were responsible for the earthquake, they did violate local law. Four of the 10 were arrested for "causing annoyance by conducting obscene acts in a public place." Authorities are still hunting for the other six tourists, and hope to charge them as well.

Other International No-No's

Don't make the same mistake and get arrested on your vacation. Here are some other odd international laws you should watch out for:

  • Masturbating in Indonesia -- There is an urban legend floating around the Internet that claims the penalty for masturbating in public in Indonesia is decapitation. This is a bit of an exaggeration. According to the Indonesian Penal Code, the maximum punishment for immoral behavior, including masturbation, is only 32 months in prison.
  • Weed in the Netherlands -- Are you flying to Amsterdam to get some weed? Think again. Recreational drugs, including marijuana, are illegal in the Netherlands. However, in 1976 the Dutch parliament allowed people to possess less than five grams of cannabis. Here's the catch. Only residents over the age of 18 may buy marijuana. That means tourists are out of luck.
  • Selfies in Saudi Arabia -- No trip is complete without selfies. But, if you're taking selfies in Saudi Arabia, make sure that no government building, military installations, or palaces are in the background of your pictures. You could be arrested and detained.

As for the naked tourists in Malaysia, a local tribe head wants the violators to be fined 10 heads of buffalo to appease the mountain protector.

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