Let’s talk Toilet

This may be crossing way over into the realm of TMI, but I thought it would be fun to share with you all some of the exciting toilets I’ve encountered on my trip so far. I’ve travelled through parts of Asia before, so I am familiar with how toilets go over here – but I think its always funny how shocking they can some times be – so far I’ve classified the toilets I’ve used into five general catagories:

(Note: I have tried to take a photo of every toilet I’ve used – weird I know. This is a honest cross section of what I’ve encountered. I haven’t tried to pick out the cleanest or worst toilets of the trip)

The Western Toilet

Ahh, your old friend – the Western Toilet. Too disgusting to ever actually sit on, but comforting that the option is there should you require it. Unlike it’s American cousin, it’s unable to handle toilet paper   (which is rarely provided). All waste must be disposed of in the provided trash can.

The western toilet is rarely found outside of tourist hotels, expensive restaurants and airports. Often denoted by a friendly sign.

The Squat Toilet

The most common species of Asia toilet, the squat toilet provides a hole, porcelain foot pads, plumbing an little else. Also unable to handle toilet paper, it’s easily spotted by the overflowing waste basket at it’s side. Can come with our without doors…or even stalls.

The Trough

A rare squat toilet with stalls... (I can't take photos without stalls!)

This was a new one for me – the trough really seeks a new minimalism in toilets. In fact, the first time I encountered one, I assumed the toilet had been removed. Most often the trough toilet consists of a room with a long trough in the floor.

Luckily I realized it was a toilet when a Chinese Chick headed in past me and popped a squat over the trough and I got the idea that I was supposed to get in line behind her… Even luckier, she wasn’t peeing.

There are no stalls, no seats, no doors, and no plumbing. “Flushing” is handled using a ladle and a bucket of water.

Oddly, the troughs have had some amazing views. Especially in the Tiger Leap Gorge.

The Sort-A Potty

So far only encountered these in Mongolia. These are like port-as potties but not exactly portable. And also, not exactly a potty.

No need to use a trash can – these babies can handle the toilet paper…and anything else you want to throw at them. As you can imagine the smell isn’t great, but once again the view can be awesome.


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6 Responses to Let’s talk Toilet

  1. Oh man! I am SO glad that I did not encounter any of the last three toilets you mentioned… I just can’t deal with communal toilet time! I dealt with squat toilets by removing my pants so as to avoid possible splash back of any kind, but I take it that’s not done in the communal venues. I guess I need to work on my technique… (I am sure the rest of our time in Asia will give me ample opportunity.)

  2. memographer says:

    Such a beautiful collection of pics :)

  3. Sylvain says:

    Thanks for this great post of the necessities around travel. I’ve taken a few toilet pictures of my own when abroad, so we’re two in that spirit :-)

    And that also convinced me to add a roll of toilet paper or Kleenex box into my luggage :-)

  4. Mary says:

    Now this is my kind of post! The real insider info!

  5. Vicky says:

    Haha love this post with all the different types of toilets – seriously cannot even believe the trough one – thats pretty ridiculous! We spent 2 weeks in japan and have been spoiled with super ritzy uber modern toilets and now that we just got to China I’m guessing it’s going to get a lot simpler and dirtier!

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