A Guide to Non-Western Toilets

So you are travelling through Asia and you encounter your first squat toilet. Now what?

It is important to remember to not panic. This may not resemble the toilets you are used to at home, but the goal remains the same: don’t dribble on the floor.

When I first came across my own squat toilet I was at a rest stop for a cross-Thailand bus trip. I will say I was caught off-guard, but at least I had a stash of T.P. in my purse.

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You got it, I stopped for a picture during this ground-breaking moment.

At initial glance, it seems there is enough leg room for an Amazon woman, but do not be fooled. The hole in this platform is not to be touched with any part of your body. Think of it like that time you peed in the woods while camping. You really are just trying to not get your feet wet. The benefit of this toilet style is the position it puts your digestive tract in for a bowel movement. Turns out, squatting while you poo is actually better for you!

The drawbacks include: extra aiming concerns, a need for increased focus, attempting any part of this after leg day, usage requires balance, and the fact that you manually flush means this whole area is pretty much a splash zone.

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The twist here is many of these toilet experiences come with the added bonus of anal cleansing! Most toilets I have been encountering throughout Thailand do not come stock with toilet paper. Instead, after doing their business, locals seem to wash off  with a kitchen sprayer. Even the toilets that resemble the ones I am used to seeing include their own personal spritzer and a floor drain.

I keeping being told that it is more hygienic to use anal cleansing instead of paper, but something about hosing your holes off onto the ground does not seem that way to me.

Have you encountered a squatty potty during your travels, how did you tackle it?

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