In China, most of the toilets are squatting ones, which are available in many hotels, tourist attractions, commercial department store, restaurants, and other shops and stores. These toilets are less a fixture and more of a recess in the floor to receive waste and are nearly impossible to find elsewhere in the world.
As with restrooms everywhere else, the level of cleanliness for a squat toilet depends on how often it is cleaned: in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing or a large airport, restrooms are mopped frequently.
N.B.: it’s worth pointing out that high-speed bullet trains tend to have cleaner and Western-style toilets as opposed to a slower trains; so keep this in mind if you decide to book a custom tour of multiple cities.
You should also be aware that the average public restroom will not come equipped with toilet paper, so bringing your own along with you is a smart move. Toilet paper is relatively inexpensive in China as it is in the U.S.
When you decide to head for the restroom, it is always a good idea to have a friend or family member hold on to whatever bags you may be carrying because it is unusual to find bathroom stalls with hooks, and you will likely be needed both of your hands to adequately balance yourself.
When you’ve entered the stall, the next step is to face forward to avoid splatter, and place your feet in the groves along the sides of the toilet to keep your feet in place. Even if the restroom appears to be clean and dry, make an effort to not have your clothing touch the floor.
You can find restrooms with full stalls in big cities, but in older parts of these cities or in small towns you will likely find shorter, waist-high dividers.
Most cities discourage flushing toilet paper, so there should be a standard-looking trash bin in your stall, so go ahead and toss your toilet paper in there when you finish.
In Chinese airports and increasingly in big cities you can find handicap-accessible bathrooms.
If you are visiting Beijing as part of your China excursion, you will be impressed at the city’s “toilet revolution” begun in the 1980s. You could experience some of the most advanced toilets in the world in Beijing boasting amenities such as personal televisions, charging stations, WiFi, ATMs, and music. Restrooms in the Temple of Heaven and the Bird’s Nest Stadium even come with facial recognition on their toilet paper dispensers to prevent users from taking too much paper.
In all, China is making considerable strides in its public facilities, particularly in larger cities, but tourists should be prepared for how different restrooms are and how to deal with squat toilets.
For any questions regarding your trip to China, don’t hesitate to speak with a representative at Chinatour.com!