Public Toilets from around the world

Public Toilets: The good, the bad and the ugly. None of us like to use public toilets but when you travel it is something that you cannot avoid. When a fellow blogger Savira, recently shared a very fancy toilet photo with us on her post, A moment in time, it reminded me of all the different toilets that I have used over the years.


1. The Automated Toilet:

Some years ago I was using a public toilet somewhere in Germany. I think I overstayed my welcome because suddenly my host decided it was time for me to leave. It flushed on its own! I leaped into the air with a yell and heard giggles coming from the cubicle next to me. I had my first introduction with the automated toilet.

The automated toilet
The automated toilet

Not all toilets are automated. When I hiked through the jungle in Thailand I knew we were going to rough it up. Here I met a toilet of a different kind.

2. A squat toilet in the jungle:

I have never used a squat toilet before so this was a first and quite a challenge. Nobody explained exactly how the squat toilet worked. My first attempt did not go very well and I lost my balance and fell off the pedestal. I hurt my foot in the process!

Public toilets
The squat toilet in Thailand

In another camp, the toilet was in a bamboo hut about 300m from the rooms. At night it was pitch black dark and the girls were scared to go to this toilet. There were huge spiders inside the toilet and no light. Definitely one of the more adventurous toilets that I have used.

The toilet trekking throught the Jungle in Thailand

3. The Bidet:

In Argentina, bidets are very popular. Here I learned to use the bidet. Houses in South Africa donยดt have bidets so it took some time getting used to.

Cat in the toilet

4. Squatty potty on a train:

A squat toilet is not easy to use. Imagine using it on a moving train! I had my first introduction with this type of toilet on an 11 hour ride from St. Petersburg to Moscow. I donยดt think the toilet was cleaned once during the journey. I was not in the best of moods when we left the train!

Toilets on a Russian train
Nice and clean but imagine what it looks like after 11 hours!

5. A Squatty potty in a Shopping center:

Imagine my shock when I went to a public toilet in Russia and was greeted by a squat toilet! For Western people who have never used this before it is a challenge.

A squat toilet in Russia smaller towns

6. A Long-drop:

Have you ever used a “Long-drop” toilet? I was surprised to learn that many older houses in Russia still have a long-drop outside. Another first for me.

Toilet with hole in the ground

Using toilets in other countries can be a challenge especially for people who travel to countries where they use squat toilets and bidets. Always educate yourself prior to traveling to these countries and then find a way to work around them. Always bring your own toilet paper, wipes and anti-bacterial gel.

I am curious to know if anybody had a strange encounter with a foreign toilet?

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. Lol I have been to the western,Indian,automated and the hole in the floor! Boy have I experienced them all…oh yes and a moving Indian train as well….

  2. I have seen a lot in my life also..while travelling,or when it comes to using a public toilet,believe me,it more hygienic and safe to use the ones u need to squat…good post…

  3. Hahaha nice post! Good thing I'm done with dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I thought I've seen it all…but yeah that "long-drop" is a novelty! But then it reminds of me slum children here many decades ago. They'd let their bums hang out of a bridge and "bomb away" (our euphemism for you-know-what) all the way down to the river! That was our version of a long drop! Haha!Oh, and squat toilets in trains. My mom also hurt herself in one on a train from Shanghai to Beijing!

  4. This brought a smile, Nelieta…I have also encountered many of these toilets in the bit of traveling I have done — although not the squat toilet on a moving train! And I haven't taken any photos of them either…you've given me inspiration! LOL!Thank you for sharing this ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Hi Alpana, we are going back to Russia next year and you have no idea how much I am dreading this squat toilet! We will be using the train as well…oh boy, I will have to physically and mentally prepare myself for this journey..LOL! Luckily I found a video clip and I think after watching this I will have a much better idea of the correct use ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hi Melissa, my husband was not very happy when I started to write this post,. I guess the idea behind it was to share my experiences and to highlight the differences in cultures. I also feel it is important for people to prepare themselves before they travel to other countries. The squat toilet was a huge shock for me. Most new shopping centres in Russia have the normal flush toilet but in other older public places you are stuck with the other types. Thank you for pointing out the ones that you have encountered in other countries.

  7. AJ, LOL..I watched the movie the Slumdog Millionaire and I was laughing so hard when you mentioned this. I can just imagine! Naughty buggers! Sorry to hear about your Mom..shame I hope she didnยดt hurt herself badly. I can just imagine what it must be like for older people. Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. very educational — haha!when my mom was a little girl she fell into the outhouse "toilet" hole, which i think most resembles your "long drop" ! she has toilet issues still today …

  9. In my country, the long drop-out still exists in the provinces. In the houses, we have the normal flush…some hotels have the automated. In Italy, it's also automated… as well as in the UAE airport. In N. Africa, they had the squat style…hmmm… it's really pretty interesting…I never thought about the differences until one points it out ;)…THANKS ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. A very interesting post! I don't think I'd do very well using the train's squat toilet! …I can only imagine trying to have my kids use it too! A few years ago on a plane ride to Florida my daughter had to go to the bathroom bad…For most of the ride, due to turbulance, we weren't allowed to get out of our seats. The only time during the whole flight they allowed everyone to walk around we managed to get to the only bathroom first. My daughter took so long to even consider going once we got in there because of the sounds and movement, that by the time she outright refused and we left it was time to get back to our seats. Nobody else was allowed to use it at that point. We had many glares in our direction after that!

  11. One of the more interesting and unique posts I've read in awhile. Travel certainly exposes one to many strange and foreign concepts and public toilets is another. This post got me to smile ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Okay, gotta love those squat toilets…… I just hope if I ever see one it is not on a day I worked out my legs : )xoxox Jess

  13. Nelieta – India is the land of squat toilets ๐Ÿ˜‰ and public hygiene leaves a lot to be asked for….I know this will sound really gross – so I suggest you go read this link about Goa the land of my ancestors

  14. Hi Sulekha, I find public toilets extremely challenging when I travel. After reading all the comments about squat toilets I guess I will have to work on our relationship ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Hi Corinne, just came back from the link. Wow, I am shocked and have never heard about this! Thank goodness I did not have to use something like this. Glad to hear they are becoming less popular! Have a wonderful week!

  16. HI Jess, you know I actually saw a video clip of instructions on how to strengthen the leg muscles prior to using the squat toilets. But yes I agree, not fun after a workout! LOL..thanks for the visit ๐Ÿ™‚ xxxxx

  17. Hi David, yes one of the more unusual posts that I have written ๐Ÿ™‚ Travel definitely broadens the horizons…that is one of the reasons why I love travelling so much ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you like it! Have a great week!

  18. Hi Jessica, I had to laugh at your story! I could see this whole scenario unfold in front of me. Excellent! I never even mentioned the toilets on the plane but maybe next time I will take a photo to add to my collection ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you very much for sharing!

  19. Hi Linda, oh no! Your poor Mom! She must be scarred for life! Oh no that is really terrible. I think I will always remember this story when I have to use a "long drop" again! Thank you for sharing!

  20. bahahahaha…that is me laughing at the thought of going into use the 'facility' and seeing a long drop toilet. I believe I would be forced to use depends. Um. Ahem.Your travels sound amazing and very, very interesting! Thanks for the traveling tip.

  21. Nelieta that was some tour. I have had my share of toilets. I hate using the ones you find in the trains here. Imagine squatting on a moving train! Ha,ha, ha,….The villages here still have long drop kinds. Truly amused reading this post

  22. Hi Jim, LOL..not it just happened that I had the photos and when I saw another blogger who had a Friday photo of a toilet I decided to write about the ones that I have seen whilst travelling. 3 photos are mine and the other 2 are from the internet. But I will be adding to the collections as we have a big trip to Russia coming up next year ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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