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I’m in a couple of travel-related groups on Facebook and I often see anxiety-ridden questions for those going to Asia for the first time about a very essential thing: toilets. Or more specifically, squat toilets.
So as I start my fourth month of traveling in Asia, I decided it was time to just write this up. Here goes, 8 things to know about squat toilets:
- Squat toilets aren’t just in Asia! I’ve also used them in Peru and was super surprised back in college when there were squat toilets at my university in southern France.
- And they’re not always the same. In Thailand, for example, the squat toilets are often elevated, which I found added a layer of difficulty.
- It’s really just like going in the great outdoors. But yes, you’ll probably end up peeing on yourself at some point until you really get used to squat toilets.
- On that note, face the wall if you’re peeing and face the door if you’re going number two. (Assuming it’s installed the typical way, whereby the hole is closer to the wall.) That’ll reduce the chances of peeing on yourself and make flushing easier.
- They’re considered more sanitary than seated toilets by many because there’s no need to touch any surface of the toilet.
- Some toilets will have water tanks so you can flush just as you would a seated toilet, while others have a faucet and buckets so you can fill up the bucket and flush manually.
- Bring toilet paper, and generally if there’s a waste basket in the stall, throw your used toilet paper in there to avoid messing up the plumbing.
- And finally, yes, sometimes these squat toilet stalls won’t have doors. Just do your business as everyone else does theirs. No one wants to watch you. Promise.
Go forth and conquer squat toilets of the world!