Navigating Thai toilets may feel like an adventure all on its own. Contrary to many Western practices, this Southeast Asian country primarily uses water sprays or “bum guns” instead of toilet paper.
This blog post will guide you through everything from using squat toilets to learning the cultural norms surrounding restroom use in Thailand. Discover a new aspect of travel hygiene and etiquette with our comprehensive guide!
- Thailand has two main types of toilets: squat toilets and Western toilets.
- Squat toilets require you to squat over a hole in the ground, while Western toilets are like the ones we use at home.
- Instead of toilet paper, many Thai bathrooms provide a water spray hose called a “bum gun” for cleaning purposes.
- When using a squat toilet, remember to position yourself correctly and be mindful of urine splatter.
Types of Toilets in Thailand
Thailand has two main types of toilets – squat toilets and Western toilets.
Squat toilets are common in Thailand. Most Thai homes have them. They work by having you squat over a hole in the ground, not sit on a seat. This way of going to the bathroom is very old and many Asian countries still use it.
These toilets help you stay clean because you don’t touch anything with your skin. Just make sure your feet are firmly planted on each side of the toilet. Then, squat down until your body is close to the ground while keeping balance! Going to the bathroom becomes easy once you get used to it!
You see Western toilets a lot in Thailand. They are the most used type of toilet there. Thai style also means two kinds of potties. One is like the Western ones where you sit down to do your business.
But, there are squat toilets too in many homes in Thailand. These look very different from our toilets at home that we sit on. You need to use your legs to squat down over be able to use this kind of toilet.
A fun fact about Thai bathrooms is that they don’t always have toilet paper! Some people use a water spray hose called a “bum gun” instead. This does the same job as tissue but with water!
In some parts of Thailand, putting tissue in the loo can cause problems with pipes underground. Be careful when using tissue and think before flushing it away here.
How to Use a Squat Toilet in Thailand
To use a squat toilet in Thailand, position yourself over the hole with your feet on either side, and squat down low enough to ensure proper alignment.
For boys and men
Boys and men might need to adjust a bit when using squat toilets in Thailand. These traditional Thai toilets are not like the ones you find at home. Instead of sitting, you must squat above the toilet hole.
It is important to face the right way – that’s towards the wall or door.
Squatting low is vital for proper use. Try to keep your balance while putting weight on your feet. Your pants should be down by your knees, not ankles because they could get wet. Also, take care with splashes! It takes practice but soon it becomes easy as pie!
For girls and women
Using a squat toilet in Thailand can be challenging for girls and women. One main problem is the risk of getting urine on themselves and their clothes. To avoid this, it’s important to position yourself correctly when using a squat toilet.
Start by facing the hood-shaped opening, with your feet on either side and slightly bent knees. This will help prevent urine splatter. You can also try holding onto something for support, like the door handle or wall.
Another tip is to dress appropriately when using a squat toilet. Wearing pants or skirts that are easy to lift or pull up can make the process more comfortable and hygienic. It’s also a good idea to carry wet wipes or tissue paper with you for personal cleanliness after using the toilet.
Remember, practicing good bathroom hygiene is essential when using any type of toilet in Thailand. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the restroom to maintain urinary hygiene and prevent the spread of germs.
For the elderly
Using a squat toilet can be challenging for the elderly, but with some adjustments, it is possible. To maintain balance and stability, they can hold onto the grab bars or walls in the bathroom.
It’s important not to stand on the toilet as some signs may suggest. Instead, they should lower themselves down into a squatting position. If getting up from a squat pose is difficult, using an elevated platform or step stool might help.
Squatting toilets require good leg strength and flexibility which might be challenging for older individuals. For them, using Western toilets with seats would be more comfortable and convenient.
These toilets are commonly found in hotels and tourist areas. However, it’s worth noting that not all public facilities will have Western-style toilets available.
When visiting Thailand as an elderly person, it’s helpful to plan ahead by researching accommodations that offer Western-style bathrooms or accessible facilities for those with mobility issues.
Additionally, carrying personal items such as toilet paper and wet wipes can ensure comfort and hygiene while using public restrooms. Remember to always respect local customs and observe proper etiquette when using any type of facility in Thailand.
How to Use a Western Toilet in Thailand
Using a Western toilet in Thailand is pretty straightforward. First, locate the flush button or lever — it’s usually on the side of the tank or the wall near the toilet. Press or pull it to flush away your waste.
Remember to always put the seat and lid down after you’re done using it as a sign of respect for others.
When sitting on a Western toilet, make sure to sit directly on the seat and not squat over it like you would with a squat toilet. This is because Western toilets are designed for sitting rather than squatting.
It may be helpful to familiarize yourself with this type of toilet before traveling to Thailand, as they can sometimes look different from what you’re used to back home.
Keep in mind that many bathrooms in Thailand do not provide toilet paper, so it’s recommended to carry your own supply while traveling there. Additionally, remember that Thai bathrooms often use a device called a “bum gun” instead of or in addition to toilet paper for cleaning purposes.
If available, feel free to use this water spray nozzle alongside or instead of using toilet paper.
By following these simple steps, you’ll have no problem using a Western-style toilet during your trip to Thailand.
Wiping After Using a Toilet in Thailand
Learn the different methods of wiping after using a toilet in Thailand, including the use of toilet paper and a “bum gun,” and how to dry off with toilet paper.
Use of toilet paper
Toilet paper is not commonly used in many Thai bathrooms. Instead, they rely on a device called the “bum gun” for cleaning. However, it’s important to have toilet paper handy when using toilets in Thailand that do not provide it.
The bum guns may not always be sufficient for cleaning, especially if you prefer using toilet paper. Keep in mind that some hostels, restaurants, and airports in Thailand request that you don’t flush toilet paper as their sewage pipes are not designed to handle it well.
So, it is recommended to throw used toilet paper into a waste bin instead of flushing it down the toilet.
Use of a “bum gun”
In Thailand, it is common to use a “bum gun” for cleaning yourself after using the toilet. The bum gun is a handheld device that sprays water, providing a hygienic alternative to toilet paper.
Thai people prefer using water to wash themselves after going to the bathroom, which makes the bum gun popular for maintaining cleanliness. It’s important to note that using the bum gun helps prevent clogged sewage pipes since they are thinner in Asian countries compared to Western countries.
So, when you’re in Thailand, keep toilet paper handy for drying off after using the bum gun. Remember, this device goes by different names like handheld bidet, commode shower, health faucet, jet spray or shatafa.
Drying off with toilet paper
After using the toilet in Thailand, you may need to dry off with toilet paper. It’s important to note that many toilets in Thailand don’t provide toilet paper for drying. So, if you prefer using it, be sure to bring your own.
In most Thai toilets, there is a hose that should be used for cleaning yourself before using the toilet paper to dry up. This practice helps ensure proper hygiene and cleanliness.
The reason why drying off with toilet paper is necessary in Thailand is because their plumbing systems are not designed to handle tissue paper. Flushing tissue down the toilet can cause clogs and other plumbing issues.
Therefore, it’s best to use the provided hose first and then finish off with some toilet paper for drying purposes only. Remember, never flush toilet paper or any other materials besides human waste and small amounts of bathroom tissue.
Using the Water Bucket in Thai Toilets
Toilet use in Thailand can be different from what you’re used to. Instead of a regular flushing mechanism, Thai toilets often have a water bucket to flush with. The bucket of water is poured into the toilet hole to start the flushing process.
This method is seen in traditional Thai toilets and is an alternative to using toilet paper. If you’re planning on traveling to Thailand, it’s important to familiarize yourself with this way of flushing so you know what to expect when using the bathroom.
Don’t worry, it’s easy once you get the hang of it!
Cultural Etiquette and Tips for Using Toilets in Thailand
When using toilets in Thailand, it is important to remove your shoes before entering the restroom.
Removing shoes before entering
In Thailand, it’s customary to take off your shoes before going inside a house or a sacred place. You’ll often see shoe racks and flip flop sandals provided outside the washrooms as a clear sign that you should remove your shoes.
This practice is rooted in the belief that homes and sacred spaces are clean and hallowed, and by removing our shoes, we show respect for these places. It’s also worth noting that in some Thai cultures, visitors are expected to remove their socks when entering temple grounds.
So remember, if you’re invited into someone’s home or planning to visit a temple in Thailand, always be mindful of this custom and take off your shoes as a sign of courtesy.
Proper disposal of used toilet paper
After using the toilet in Thailand, it is important to dispose of your used toilet paper properly. In Thailand, it is common practice to throw the used toilet paper into a waste bin instead of flushing it down the toilet.
This is because many establishments in Thailand request that toilet paper not be flushed to avoid clogging the sewage pipes. So, when you’re done using the toilet, make sure to place your used toilet paper in the designated waste bin provided.
Proper disposal of used toilet paper helps maintain good hygiene and prevents any issues with the sewage system. By following this practice, you are being considerate towards others who will use the same facilities after you.
Availability of baby changing stations
You might be wondering if there are baby changing stations available in Thailand. While there is no specific data on the availability of these facilities, you can generally find them in washrooms at modern shopping malls.
These establishments often cater to families and provide convenient amenities for parents with infants or young children. It’s important to note that the presence of baby changing stations may vary depending on the location and type of restroom you visit.
If you’re traveling with a baby or toddler, it can be helpful to plan your visits accordingly, ensuring that you have access to suitable facilities when needed.
Wheelchair accessibility in Thailand may be limited. It’s important to note that not all public toilets or restroom facilities are designed with wheelchair access in mind. This can make it challenging for people with disabilities or mobility issues to find suitable accommodations when using toilets in Thailand.
However, some newer and larger establishments, such as shopping malls and hotels, may have more accessible options available.
To ensure convenience and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities, it is recommended to plan ahead and research accessible facilities before visiting a specific location. Additionally, considering cultural etiquette is essential when using toilets for people with disabilities.
It’s always best to approach staff members or locals for assistance if needed, as they may be able to provide guidance on finding the most accessible restrooms.
Essential Tips for Traveling in Thailand
Carry small change for public toilets and be aware of the cultural norms and customs when using Thai toilets.
Always carry small change for public toilets
When using public toilets in Thailand, it is important to remember that there may be a small admission fee. Restrooms often require 5 baht for entry, so it’s crucial to carry small change with you at all times.
This will ensure that you have the necessary coins to use the facilities without any hassle. Therefore, make sure to keep some coins handy when traveling around Thailand to avoid any inconvenience when nature calls.
Having small change on hand for public toilets is an essential travel tip. By carrying these coins, you won’t have to worry about finding a place that can break your larger bills or searching for an ATM just for restroom fees.
Respect the cultural norms and customs
When visiting Thailand, it’s important to respect the cultural norms and customs, especially when using the toilets. Thai people have traditional practices and etiquette that should be observed.
For example, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a bathroom or any other indoor space in Thailand. This shows respect for cleanliness and hygiene within the home or establishment.
Another important custom to follow is proper disposal of used toilet paper. In many parts of Thailand, the plumbing systems are not designed to handle toilet paper waste. Instead of flushing it down the toilet, you should dispose of used toilet paper in a bin provided next to the toilet.
This helps prevent clogging and ensures that the plumbing works properly.
Additionally, being mindful of water-related cultural practices is crucial. Thai people often use water instead of or in addition to toilet paper for personal hygiene after using the bathroom.
They may have a bucket or a “bum gun” (a handheld bidet sprayer) available for this purpose. Therefore, understanding these customs and being open-minded about different practices can make your experience in Thailand more pleasant and respectful.
Common Myths About Thai Toilets
There are several common myths about Thai toilets that need to be debunked.
Lack of hygiene and cleanliness
In some toilets in Thailand, there may be a lack of hygiene and cleanliness. This is because many toilets do not provide toilet paper, which can result in poor sanitation. Additionally, the absence of toilet seat cleaner indicates a lack of emphasis on cleanliness.
Some squat toilets also do not have a flushing mechanism, making it difficult to maintain cleanliness. Instead of using toilet tissue, water is commonly used for cleaning purposes.
However, without proper access to toiletries or sufficient cleaning supplies, maintaining satisfactory toilet hygiene can be challenging. Overall, the inadequate provision of toilet paper and limited access to necessary cleaning supplies contribute to the lack of hygiene and cleanliness in certain Thai toilets.
Difficulty in using squat toilets
Using a squat toilet in Thailand may seem difficult at first, especially if you’re used to sit-down toilets. However, it’s important to remember that millions of people around the world use squat toilets every day without any issues.
The key is finding your balance and adjusting your body position correctly. Simply place your feet on either side of the toilet bowl, lower yourself down into a squatting position, and aim for the hole in the ground.
It may take some practice, but with time and patience, you’ll get the hang of it.
One common misconception about squat toilets is that they are unhygienic or unsanitary. However, this is not necessarily true. In fact, many argue that squat toilets can be more hygienic than sit-down toilets because there is limited contact between your body and the toilet seat.
Additionally, most public restrooms in Thailand provide hygiene sprays or hand sanitizers for users to clean their hands before leaving.
Need for toilet paper
In Thailand, many toilets do not provide toilet paper. This is important to know before using the restroom, especially if you prefer to use toilet paper for personal hygiene. It is recommended that you carry your own supply of toilet paper with you when traveling in Thailand.
By doing so, you can ensure that you have the necessary bathroom essential for wiping after using the toilet. This simple step can help maintain your personal sanitation and cleanliness while using the facilities in Thailand.
While it is true that some Thai toilets are equipped with a “bum gun,” which is a hose used for cleaning instead of toilet paper, it may not be sufficient for everyone’s needs or preferences.
Now you know all about Thailand toilets! They come in two types: squat toilets and Western sit-down toilets. Some people use a “bum gun” or water spray instead of toilet paper. Remember to bring your own toilet paper when using squat toilets.
And don’t forget, in Thailand it’s common not to flush the toilet paper down the toilet. So now you’re ready for a comfortable bathroom experience in Thailand!
1. Are squat toilets common in Thailand?
Yes, squat toilets are commonly found in public restrooms and traditional Thai households.
2. How do you use a squat toilet?
To use a squat toilet, face the hooded end with your feet on either side of the “footprints,” lower yourself into a deep squatting position, and aim for the opening to avoid splashing.
3. Can I find Western-style sit-down toilets in Thailand?
Yes, Western-style sit-down toilets can be found in modern hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers throughout Thailand.
4. Is it okay to flush toilet paper in Thailand?
In most places in Thailand, it is safe to flush toilet paper as long as the plumbing system can handle it. However, some older buildings may still have limited plumbing capabilities and provide bins for disposing of used toilet paper instead.
5. What should I do if there is no toilet paper or hand sanitizer available?
If there is no toilet paper or hand sanitizer available, it’s advisable to carry tissues or wet wipes with you when using public restrooms. Additionally, washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after restroom use is essential for hygiene.