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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2 Comment(s)

  1. Ok – I understand the concept of a bidet, or using water to clean oneself. But is one expected to just drip dry? I can’t quite figure that out.

    rebel | Sep 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. Sometimes you’ll find toilet paper to dry yourself off and sometimes you won’t and drip dry it is!

    The drain system really can’t handle the paper. Even in the hotels with western toilets there is a trash can for used paper and signs asking politely not to flush it.

    Talen | Sep 7, 2008 | Reply

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