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Asian Style Squat Toilet

Updated on February 7, 2011
Taken in Carrefour Department Store in Bangkok
Taken in Carrefour Department Store in Bangkok | Source

Squat toilets are found mostly in homes throughout rural Asia, in villages, small towns and even small and large cities. Though you can find them in some shopping malls and newer departments stores that are mixed along with Western style toilets too. But if you are traveling off the beaten path throughout Asia it is the squat toilets that reigns supreme over the porcelain throne.

There are several variations of Asian squat toilets. The one pictured on the right where it looks like a porcelain pedestal with a hole was taken in a large supermarket in Bangkok. These are more sanitary in my opinion because there is a lever to flush your deposit.

While the style pictured below is the type where you fill the toilet with enough water to flush the contents down. As a traveler in Asia you will most likely come across these in national parks roadside restaurants, small locally run hotels and bungalows.

Some toilets are indented into the ground which in my opinion is easier to use because you won't need to balance. While the ones pictured here require some dexterity. You have to balance yourself on two footrests and not to be too blunt 'aim' while you're performing a #2. Definitely not easy for the uninitiated. Even still today I'm not quite use to it since my Western arse is too big.

Taken in Phimai  Historical Park, Korat
Taken in Phimai Historical Park, Korat | Source

Something to remember

Make sure to carry your own supply of toilet tissue. Most places off the beaten path in Asia won't have any.

How To Use An Asian Style Squat Toilet

As natural as it may seem to us because we've been doing it since we were weened off our diapers I have seen many quizzical faces plastered on Westerners, standing with their mouths wide open when they are confronted face to face with a squat toilet. Kind of like a deer looking into oncoming headlights and pondering if it should stay or run for the bushes.

For a man it's quite simple to do a #1. For ladies... well I feel for you.

#2s can be a daunting task for both sexes since you don't want to soil your underwear or pant. It's a good idea to have your feet pointing outwards too.

Watching the video below will give you some sort of idea what you will be dealing with. Of course it's not too in depth since posting a video of someone actually defecating on YouTube will violate their terms and conditions as well as some international law somewhere.

Since I can't hold your hand through this (not that I want to) my advice for performing a #2 is to measure twice and cut once. And I don't mean to be gross but eating more fiber will help your aiming. Okay... that was gross and unnecessary. But hey, that really helps.


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    • Edwin Clark profile image

      Edwin Clark 7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      twobmad - there's 2 things this article might do, 1 is help people learn how to use an asian squat toilet, 2 is scare people from visiting Asia ;)

    • twobmad profile image

      Ruatte 7 years ago from Myanmar(Burma)

      cool article.. I believe this is a very helpful advice for westerners.

    • Edwin Clark profile image

      Edwin Clark 7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      Peter, if I used the water I'd sure as hell make a bigger mess ;)

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

      Useful advice. Always difficult to avoid getting your clothes wet as the floors of most squats are swimming. I find the best way is to actually remove my shorts and underwear and if there is nowhere to hang them then hold them on my knees. I never worry about paper as water is far more cleansing. Some of the doorless squats in China were a little embarrassing but at least there you did not face the open door (or perhaps that would have been preferable). Thanks for your hub.