The art of using a Thai toilet

So, you’re in Thailand and you feel the urge to use the bathroom…luckily in the tourist areas most hotels, restaurants, and bars will have a good old western toilet. Outside the tourist areas what you see is what you get…especially if visiting a Thai persons home. Pictured is a traditional squat toilet which at first glance seems simple enough. Pull your pants down….squat…..and finish up. Well, if you never used one parts 2 and 3 of the instructions might be a little hard if not downright confusing.

Number one when was the last time you squatted to do anything? I thought so…you see those of us of the western persuasion ( especially men ) don’t squat well and while you may have good squat muscles the time to find out isn’t at 2am in a bar after eating Som Tam which can best be described as a class A incendiary device…butt I digress.

The next thing you see is the barrel (sometimes a bucket or a small well) which is filled with water and has a small pot floating in it…this my friend is the flushing mechanism. Simple enough, pour some water in the hole and it all goes away…butt… did you notice there is no toilet paper? The barrel you see has a dual purpose. The little pot is also used to splash yourself clean. Sounds refreshing doesn’t it?

If you should find yourself in a situation where you have no choice and have to go make sure to take your time or things could get real messy. Better yet if you can take your time find a western toilet. If you find you have no choice and it doesn’t go as planned….the bucket of water can always be used to do a little wash!

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    8 thoughts on “How to Buy a Drink in Thailand?

    1. Ordering a drink can be a little like a DIY project…mine can sometimes involve a small dish of sliced lime as well.

      My Thai teacher told us by separating syllables of English words and applying a Thai accent, will often get you what you want. Looks like she might be right!

    2. Glad I’m a beer drinker Talen. I did have a similar experience quite a few years ago when trying to order Jaeger bombs (yes I know lol). The nice thing is the bartender worked with me as I talked her through the process of making them. After the first few we were good to go at that bar and had many fun nights and hungover mornings. When I returned to Bangkok 6 months later it seemed like everywhere I went they knew how to make them…did I start a Jaeger bomb trend in Bangkok??

    3. Talen that made me smile, since I usually drink beer when out my biggest problem has always been to stop the eager waitress mixing it with ice.

      I reckon the advice about splitting the syllables in English words is a winner from you and Snap……now to find some interesting words to introduce into a conversation

    4. Good post Talen. As a female with a sidekick I’m not often faced with ordering alcoholic mixed drinks but I did run into problems getting nam soda (???????) early on (I love the stuff).

      With my terrible pronunciation at the time, some would bring me soda with sweetened lime juice and I’m SO not into sweet drinks.

      In my way of thinking, if I’m going to take on unnecessary calories in a drink it’d better have alcohol or have a really good reason (like hot chocolate – I can find tons of good reasons for chocolate in liquid form).

    5. I don’t drink alcohol so the only things I order in bars or restaurants are soft drinks and most of them seem to be named for their color.

      My favorites are:

      Nam Som (Orange juice or Green Spot), Nam Daeng (Red Fanta), and Nam Kiaw (Green Fanta).

      As the precedent had been set I tried to persuade my wife that I should order Coke this way (Nam Dam).

      You can only imagine the look she gave me.

    6. Talen it took me a long while to get used to having ice in my beer but nowadays I quite like it providing it’s kept to one or two cubes. What I really don’t like are the glasses they take out the freezer, they take the head off a beer straight away.

      Shorts…I normally ask for a Jac(k)Dan Yell and Koke.

    7. Good story, Talen. It’s a good practice to also leave out the “and” and say “rum coke”, as you do with “vodka Lipo”. I will say “vodka or-ANGE” or vodka NAAM so-DUH.

      My fave Tinglish is Tie-GUH, for Tiger beer, which I rarely order anyway. It’s mostly Lee-OH or Black Lay-BUL. Recently I orderd Black Lay-BUL but it wasn’t understood until I said Johnnie Black.

      The Drinking Life is complicated and challenging, but rewards in Thailand always add up to San-NOOK.

    8. of course you made me laugh with your post .

      i was in thailand for 3 years , i got some trouble when i ordered my favorite drink , it was “dry martini or mojito ” do you known it’s a mix havana rum and lime lemon and sugar ( may be because i’m french ) . anyway , all time i did to reapet my order ,or i did to explain what is mean as alcohol . they always desserved to me an bottle’softdrink . After a couple of time i was so dessappointed that i’m never order some alcohol anymore in this country .

      i lived i mukdahan , and sometimes when i said “chang beer ” they brought me a singha or leo , as they wanted to desserves me , that something funny about thsi country , and a few times that difficult to keep your smile . believe me .

      eric ( sorry for my english )

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