If you’ve never been to China, you could ask yourself, why are we even talking about toilets in China?
Also, travelers often ask this question just because of the information they find online. The Loos are much comfortable and easy to use, as you will see below.
Just so you know, the toilets in China are mostly squat toilets. Of course, this will come as a shocker, but it’s the case. A traveler may not know how to react about it, but I want to show you that you will find the best ones for you. Although it’s a developed country, it’s the one place they mostly have squat toilets, but they also have the western-style ones.
So what‘s a squat toilet
In the west, these toilets are no longer in use. However, when you came to China, you can expect such toilets at the same level as the ground. Of course, this is even safer as you don’t have to cover the toilet seat with tissue paper before you can sit on it. I feel like it’s the safest toilet to use, especially in public areas.
From the image above, you can understand what I’m talking about. Of course, it means that you will use it while squatting and not seating. Other than that, the toilets remain clean. Well, remember its simple to use, especially if you don’t have any knee complications.
By the way, did you know that the squatting will help you in the process? It makes it easy, especially when you want to go for a long call of nature.
Categories of toilets
- You can have a shed toilet
This is where you have a room protected and gives you the privacy for people not to look as you go about your business. Since it’s an outdoor toilet, then you won’t flush it. If you go to the outskirts of large cities, you can expect such toilets.
- The public toilets
Unlike other cities in the globe where you have to struggle to find the toilets, you will have many public ones. The good thing is that you will have it just around the corner.
Sometimes they have no doors. If they don’t, you should face the common area but not the wall’s side. Don’t worry, one thing you will have is the flush system, making it even more comfortable. I know it can be tricky for you to do your thing with people watching but if you got to do it, then do it.
- Other touristic sites and Chinese restaurants
These feature some of those few toilets with so many people, so it’s hard to avoid the smell. Today most people use cheap incense to make it smell nice, but honestly, it’s hard to tell if it did make a change.
- Best toilet
Such toilets you will find in high-end restaurants and coffee places, among others. They will always be clean with the water to flush and paper to use for the process. Of course, this is the same if you have a hotel room or other hotels.
- Western toilet
On rare occasions, you will come across the regular seat toilets. Use the seat toilet if you aren’t comfortable with the squat ones.
What Will You Expect with These Kinds of Toilets?
Whether the toilet will be clean or not depends on where you are at. When you went to a high-end mall in a city like Beijing or Shanghai, you will expect it to be clean as its frequently cleaned.
However, if you are in the villages far away from the city, you will have those that have no water to flush, so don’t be alarmed.
The cleanliness of the toilets is improving by the day. Today you will find the bathrooms in public that look more like the western toilets. You will also notice there are people to clean the toilets in the rooms from time to time.
One of the things you may also notice is some men in the restroom having a quick smoke. They do so before they go back to work for their busy schedule.
If you go in a slow train and you need to use the toilet, though, you will expect a foul smell. You can expect to go through your squat challenges here too. However, if you don’t mind going on the fast trains, then these have perfect toilets. They are cleaned at all times.
Before you use any toilet, remember that the public restrooms in the low-end areas won’t give you as much privacy.
Are you going to book a hotel? Maybe you should go to the toilet before you leave.
Of course, you will want to visit the toilet from time to time, especially if you are going out. To be safe, though, you should use your room toilet before going out. It will reduce the number of times you need to use it.
I usually hold until the time when we pass through some of those high-end malls to go. This means I end up using a clean toilet.
You should always carry your papers along just in case it’s not there. Also, remember to bring some hand sanitizers, which will help you clean. Once you are through, the toilets may not have soap for you to wash your hands.
In fact, the water you will use to clean your hands isn’t hot, so I encourage sanitizers and wet papers.
In the restroom
Have someone holding your bag for you because the toilets don’t have a hook to hang them. Don’t worry; you may have the western seat toilet and the squat ones to choose the ones you would like to use.
Also, remember to pull out the long pant legs up. This will keep your trouser from getting wet.
Are you going to use squat toilets?
If you get only the squat toilet, then you need to follow the steps below.
Prep to squat
I know what you are thinking, prepare for the toilet? Yes, remember you aren’t going to sit. For some people, this looks hard, but it’s not. Just psychologically prepare yourself for the process.
Have a tissue paper: it’s not always that you will have the tissue papers in Chinese public toilets. If you go to a public restroom, you will be sure you won’t have toilet paper. You may not have the soap to clean your hands and the towels to wipe them afterward, so carry some hand sanitizers.
Can I carry some coins? You definitely should take the coins just because you will need them in the restroom. It’s often cheap; you need 1-2 Chinese Yuan.
Preventive peeing would work: if you know, you will go to public places to go to the toilet before you leave. It will make it easy for you if you are in areas where there are no quality toilets.
Plan yourself: if you intend to be out and about, you should plan for some time where you will be in those high-end malls and public places. This will keep you off the need to go to the very public toilets.
Now to use the toilet.
Here we teach you how you can use the toilet.
Carry your paper
This is the one thing you may forget because you are used to having them ready in the toilets. Please don’t forget, and if you do, go out to the shops to buy one first.
Roll the trousers up
If you are wearing long trousers, you will need to roll them up to avoid wetting them. This you should do before you go into the loo. Remember, sometimes they will be wet by accident or just from the mopping that has just happened.
If you are carrying your purse and phone or any other form of luggage, you can leave it out with your friend to hold it up. Often the door will not have a hook for you to hang the luggage.
What kind of end does it have?
You will have different kinds of toilet ends; nonetheless, you have two common end designs.
Does it have the umbrella: so the umbrella end is the front side that you will need to face. This umbrella will help to keep the liquid of any form from splashing out. You should therefore aim under the umbrella, not over or on it. Notice too that your rear end won’t line up with the hole.
Without the umbrella: sometime you will have no umbrella. Nonetheless, it won’t matter since they have the rear over the hole, thus keeping the liquid. However, you should remember that if you hover over the hole, you may experience a level of splashing.
Now center yourself and then balance.
As you are squatting, you will have the raised grooves where your legs go to. They will generally keep your legs safe from sliding. Be careful, though, since they are frequently washed, they may sometime slide. With this, you will have a guide on where to stand and squat too.
Come on, go down and bend.
Well, it’s time to bend and go down entirely to a back N position. Of course, if you are not used to this, you may feel some knee pressure, mostly if you stay long but don’t worry. Do what you wanted to do and stand.
There‘s a can for the used paper.
Most toilets won’t handle the paper. Clean up, and once you are done, you can place them in the can. Do not drop the paper in the toilet hole. Most of the toilets can’t handle the paper. That’s why you always have the can on the side. You don’t want to cause blockage, so keep it in the waste can.
Do I know how to flush it?
After all the things discussed, you will wonder if you even know how to flush the toilets. But worry not most of the squat toilets are also flush types. The bathrooms will mostly have the handle to pull the toilet lever for flushing. Sometimes they have buttons that you can push. Whichever the mechanism, you will have to release the water.
If they don’t have a flush, they will have a bucket of water with a simple jag for you to scoop the water and pour it in the toilet to clean it up for the next person.
Finishing it all up
Once you flush the toilet, you can now start thinking of how to clean your hands. Remember, as earlier mentioned, the bathrooms wouldn’t have warm water and soap, making it weird. They won’t even have the electric dryer for your hands.
Most Chinese will just clean with water and dry with their paper or dress. If you want, you can carry the wet sanitized paper towel to give you a thorough cleaning.
Tip: when using any of the public toilets, therefore, you should think of the person coming next. Don’t splash your waste all over and flush it nicely, leaving it as clean as you found it or better.
What are the benefits of using a squat toilet?
Before anything, I must say that I 100% prefer the squat toilets when it the public places. I mean, you don’t have to sit over a seat you aren’t even sure about. It’s hygienically safe to use the squat toilet since your bottom doesn’t touch other peoples.
- Squat challenge
If you don’t exercise, this is perfect for the knees to keep them flexible and strong.
- It makes everything aligned easily.
Although it’s not so common in the west today, health care professionals encourage the squatting method. It makes the whole process easy.
Do I have to use it, though?
Well, this is one of the most common questions, especially by foreigners. Although squat toilets are the most common ones, you will also have the western-style ones. This means that you don’t have to use the squat ones; instead, go for the regular seat toilets.
I have seen many foreigners visiting this country and never once using the toilets. They are available all around but not mandatory to use.
You will only have a problem if you are going outside the major cities. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to use them, you shouldn’t be intimidated. Follow the directions above for ease.
Don’t think a lot about it because the toilets work for the natives. If you think of it as an easy process, it will be manageable for you. Those who know the saying ‘when you go to Rome, do as the Romans do’ will find it easy.
Finding an excellent public toilet
Although the toilet seems like something unnecessary to think of, I like to find one in big cities. For me, it’s as good as going to the restaurant. If I can’t find a clean one, I can’t even use it as everything will hold in. I know many people like that, which is why you should check our guide.
Check for the following marks that show you the toilets are available. Sometimes they have the WC sign as well as 厕所 for a bathroom here.
Other things that matter are the following tips
Star rating: if you are going to be in the country for long, you should find one with the best reviews and positive star ratings. Only choose the ones with 4-star rating bathrooms. You may have dirty ones that you don’t want if they are less than 4-star.
Choose the smart toilet: of course, technology is advancing, so you will expect to see those that will screen your face, offer WIFI services, or even disperse tissue papers. If you like the great standard ones, choose the smart toilets.
Go to the high-end hotel: if you want to be sure, go to a high-end hotel around you then go to their toilet after a cup of coffee or a snack. Often though, not many people will question you for being there.
Like we said earlier, when you are out of town, you may even use the outdoor toilets that don’t have a flush.
How do I know it‘s a male or female toilet?
Of course, this is a question you want to ask before you go into the door. You may have to check the sign even though it may be in Chinese.
They may often have the image of either a girl or a boy, but if they don’t, you should know a bit of Chinese. Find the signs below for the male toilet and female toilets.
Pliz put the male toilet in Chinese writing and female ones here.
I know this may be too much for you if you don’t understand the language, but the female sign looks like a woman crossing her legs. Alternatively, look at the people going in, and you will know where to go.
It‘s a wrap
I have given you almost everything I know firsthand in regards to the toilets. Don’t listen to the myths any more; just come and see it for yourself. You can use the toilets, trust me; you have to know where to go.
There will be many clean bathrooms that you can use. If you can’t find any to use, you can go to the hotels to find the Chinese toilet.
Remember to carry the hand sanitizer and the paper for when you wish to go to the toilets.