Squatty potty

So I just realized I’ve haven’t shared too much about the bathrooms in China. I did mention my first experience with one during our Chinese Medical Exam and if you’ve ever done any reading about visiting or living in China, this is not a new subject. But a blog about China can not be complete without mentioning it, so here’s my tribute.

Bathrooms in China

Affectionately called the “squatty potty” by most Westerners, these little fellows are pretty much porcelain holes in the ground. This is a very “nice” specimen, photo taken at my favorite place in Shenyang, IS Cafe. I say nice because this one is usually clean and sometimes even has paper!

Speaking of paper, there are two things you should never leave home without when you’re in China.

Pocket packs of tissue and wet wipes. No need to pack them from the US (except maybe a couple of packs the first time you visit so you have them before you get to a store.) because you can find them everywhere. You’ll find lots of uses not the least of which is toilet paper when you have to visit the public toilet. Most do NOT have tissue available. Of course, you’ll only forget them once.

The wet wipes are great when there is no soap or towels to wash your hands with afterwards.

Most westerners hate these things and you learn pretty fast where to look for a western toilet if you have to go. For example, this is where McDonald’s is your friend. They almost always have western toilets. The western hotel chains are also a good place to find a “normal” toilet.

I have a little confession to make though.

I really don’t mind them.

Now, I hate it when they’re dirty and smelly, don’t get me wrong. But the actually squat pot, I don’t mind. Personally, I’m not sitting on a public toilet no matter where in the world it is. In that case, I actually think it’s easier to use this kind. Plus, it’s really not that different than going outside when you’re hiking or camping. And if you grow up on a farm, you’ve usually mastered the outdoor squat before you’re even potty trained.

What do you think? If you live in China, do you hate the squatty potty?

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6 thoughts on “Squatty potty

  1. Number one issue……….I hate them besides the fact they are hard to use with bad knees. Number two issue is the Chinese either don’t care or just have very bad aim. There is always more deposits on the outside than inside of them and they have no idea what it means to flush on the few that are flushable. The paper they use is usually on thrown on the floor or in a waste can next to it because if you put it in the hole it plugs it up. Number three is you must have good lung capacity as it is for sure a breath hoolding situation.

    As far as the question of “handicap accessable” in China forget it. That is one reason you very seldom see anyone with a handicap on the streets or out in public in China. It only exsist in what I call the show places. That is places that the media and so called VIP’s that come to China for business or promotion purposes.

    Suppliers I deal with with almost no exceptions have their prduction and offices on multiple floors of the buildings and no elevators. For many jobs it is illeagle to hire hadicaps with out speacial government permission.

  2. When we visited China, almost every time I visited a public restroom, some nice Chinese lady would grab me by the arm and literally DRAG me to the one western toilet, usually in a stall at the end. I have the same knee problem as the person posting above, and YES — it’s almost impossible to get up once you’re down if you’re getting on in years. However, most Chinese toilets are no dirtier than corresponding toilets in the US. The thing I found funniest was in southeast Asia, where western style toilets all had big signs telling people not to climb up and squat on the seat. Many western toilets had footprints on the seat.

  3. Hate them, and then some. Pee all over the floor is the best of the situation. The swabbing lady making a bigger mess than the original pee mess is worse. Knowing everyone is walking around with “bathroom waste” on their pants is disgusting. Going to western toilets where the Chinese throw the paper with waste in the tiny basket while they still pee all over the toilet seat, just gotta stop at that one.