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Chinese Toilets

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When touring in a foreign country, knowing the local toilet arrangement is a basic requirement. Toilets in China are somewhat different from those in other countries, especially the Western countries. The following information is specially collected by Chinatour360.com for you to avoid any embarrassment when you need to answer nature's call.

Years ago, public toilets in mainland China were mostly open-air dry pail latrines, dirty and stinking. At that time, use of toilet was usually charged at CNY 0.3 - 0.5 per person. Now public toilets in Chinese cities have changed to water flushed style which is much more sanitary than the old ones, and most are free.

For foreign visitors, toileting in mainland China is sometimes a difficult thing, because most of the public toilets in China are squat type. Unlike stories and reports from the media, the "extremely dirty" or "horrible" toilets have almost died out. Public toilets in cities are mostly acceptable. Some scenic spots even have starred toilets which are well-equipped with toilet paper, mirrors, soaps, hand driers, and even have flowers on the basin and light music. A toilet in the Terracotta Warriors and Horse Museum is said to be a 5-star public toilet, clean, bright, well-equipped, and full of fragrance and light music hovering around your ears.

However, not all the toilets are as well-equipped and decent as the ones in the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, so are some tips about public toilets in China: 
almost all the public toilets in mainland China are squat style; and seats are usually for the mobility challenged; 
 there is usually no toilet paper in public toilets, so remember to take some with you; the used toilet paper should be put into the plastic basket alongside the toilet to avoid paper clogging up the sewage system; 
 most public toilets in mainland China are now free of charge; only a few charge CNY 0.5 per person. 
 Diaper changing tables for children are not common in mainland China, so you may need to find a proper place yourself; 
 public toilets with a sign of 公厕, Toilet, or W.C. are available on the streets in most Chinese cities. In addition, those of many shopping malls, restaurants, fast food restaurants are also open to the public; 
 public toilets in Hong Kong and Macau are usually seat style and equipped with toilet paper and hand tissue.

Questions & Answers
  • Do you know if anyone has ever tried to introduce sanitary bins to public toilets in China? They are common in the West, and allow for any waste that cannot be flushed to be stored securely and hygienically. I wonder if they also help to control unpleasant odours? As the majority of toilets in China cannot cope with flushing toilet paper or sanitary products down them, and as they all have a bin that needs emptying in the cubicle anyway, does anyone think that proper sanitary bins might be an idea that the Chinese would get behind?

    Asked By Hannah (UK) | May. 14, 2013 00:41
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • Beijing decides to open all the public toilets in the communities beside roads, plaza, parks, stations, decks, shopping malls, restaurants, hospitals, gas stations, theatres, exhibition halls, gymnasiums and other scenic spots to the public. Now this draft is investigated in the municipal law website.

    If this plan is carried out, you can go to the superior hotels, shopping malls, parking lots and all otehr public falicities to solve your 'inner urgence'. Sounds good for the Beijing people!

    Asked By Ellen (CN) | Feb. 25, 2008 17:51
    5 AnswersAnswer Question
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