We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto.
14.06.2012 - 20.06.2012 78 °F
Toilets in China are interesting to say the least. The modern hotels have regular bathrooms with all of the modern accouterments. Outside of the modern hotels it is a real crapshoot as to what you will get. The Tourist Board rates some of the restrooms at the main sites. I giggled at the plaque outside of the toilets at the Ming Tomb, but as the trip progressed I was longing for a 3 star toilet. My initial impression of the three star facility was not great, but I quickly lowered my expectations for the toilet situation and began to look and pray for the tourist board rated bathrooms. Unfortunately, most of the bathrooms did not rate.
So what is the big deal? A typical public restroom in Beijing was a stall with a squat toilet. A squat toilet is just what it sounds like- a toilet over which you squat. How is this possible? First, it does not look like a Western toilet. Get the image of the toilet in your home out of your head. Imagine an oval shaped hole in the ground. The hole in te ground has a basin made of either porcelain or stainless steel and it has a grooved area on either side for your feet. Second, one does not put toilet paper into the toilet. There is a waste bin for that. Third, toilet paper is not available at most public restrooms and if it is, it is not in the stall. It is located as you enter the restroom much like a paper towel dispenser. Fourth, the smell is indescribable in most of the restrooms. I will be having nightmares for sure.