If you have read my other pages you will know by now that this comes up on almost each one, and Beijing is no different. Well, maybe a little different. I only saw one of these the entire time I was in Beijing. And that was such a relief.
For the uninitiated, the Asian style toilet is supposed to be more sanitary than the western ones. However they are a little confusing to the barbarians from the west. So, here is a little primer on the privies of the far east.
Most importantly, bring toilet paper and towels with you as they are not always provided in public facilities! The other thing to remember is that some places charge for use of their facilities, so bring change otherwise you may be on the outside looking in. This is especially true in Japan, not so much in China.
First thing to know, the front of the toilet is the raised curved part below the tank in the picture here. You stand with legs on either side of the basin and drop your pants around your knees. Next, you squat over the basin, and go about business, making sure to keep your balance while you do.
The next part is the trickiest, to flush the paper or not. There is some debate over this. Many Asian style toilets will have a small trash can next to them with a plastic bag in them, I have been told this is where you place the soiled paper. But I have also seen ones that don't have this little can. If that is the case, I have assumed that it is ok to flush the toilet paper there. I am waiting for someone with more experience to correct me on this, so far none have.
If you are in some places in Asia, there may be a pair of slippers outside the door. This is so you don't dirty your own shoes.
If you are at the home of a person who has an Asian style toilet, don't be afraid to ask them how to use one, it is not uncommon, and you won't lose face for doing so. For further instruction, see the web page linked below for general instructions.
Seems, that some things have definitedly change to good in Beijing since I visited first time in 1988. Public toilets are now wortha visit: At least around the tourist spots they are very clean, do not smell and have private cubicles. This one even has a solar cell for electricity on the roof.But still: Do not forget to take your own toilet paper with you!
Work the thighs, work the thighs, and bring toilet tissue with you wherever you go. Wet wipes are handy too. Its not that often you will come across a sign like this picture (that looks eerily like a portrait of my mom ..she's going to kill me for saying that!) This cute little lady means you can sit and not squat.
Some people may find it gross, but since it`s a different cilture over there, I think it`s worth mentioning how you are supposed to use the loo once you get there. :)
- you are not supposed to flash the used paper into the toilet, but put in the basket.
- there is no toilet paper in public bathrooms, so bring your own (exception: airport).
- most toilets are a squating type.
This is a dirty job, they are only paid by tips by users,so be kind and give 5 y that is 20c not bad to have your Pants dried and Shoes cleaned, not to say all the other dirty jobs they have to do!!!!!!!
personal hygiene set for sale available at hotel rooms for 20 RMB and has towels, bath liquid soap, shampoo, lotion, tootbrush and toot paste. for people who forgot to pack their toilettries after arriving here. it is very convenient hehehe, the front desk will just charge you after you check out.