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Thailand's First World Problems

Updated on July 27, 2016

When I first embarked on this volunteer work opportunity, I had only two things in mind, the first was to do good and to be able to CHANGE LIVES, and the second was to travel around in this beautiful Kingdom of Thailand. Well, I'll admit my expectations were high because I spent 6 weeks in India last summer and it was beautiful. I thought well Asia has to be the same, pretty stupid right? I mean all you get in India is the cultural shock and a few really crowded train rides, who can't live through that? but in Thailand, trying to live, to just survive for the next day is a deadly battle! Anyways so I book the flight ticket, I jump on the plane, go through the orientation camp which was supposed to prepare me for my experience here, and all was well until I actually moved to the province to do the real work! I could talk a lot about Thailand even though I've only been here for two weeks, but I plan to keep this article short focusing on one issue which most of us find really important: THE TOILETS!

European Vs Arab

well the toilets have always been a controversial topic when it comes to travelers, Most westerners constantly make fun of the hose which the Arabs for example use, because Westerners usually use toilet papers but at no point was there a discussion of a normal flush, or just simple toilet paper, and this is where Thailand comes in and shocks everybody!

The three most important things in a Toilet VANISHED!

Toilet Papers!

I mean who doesn't have these? whether you are an Arab or an Indian and you use a hose you're probably going to use toilet papers too!, and If you are a westerner well, It's a must! but sadly in Thailand, Toilet papers are important NO MORE, at some point me and most of the volunteers here we just bought our own Toilet papers from Bangkok before leaving to the province. Another really important issue that if you are coming to Thailand you should know, the fact that you should throw the toilet papers in the bin because well Thai people don't really use toilet papers and their sewage system is just not made for it! I'd say good luck with finding that bin though!


Well you heard that right, I don't know about you guys, but I've never really been in a country without a flush before. I mean it's a necessity, who doesn't have a flush right? Apparently Thai people are okay with just flushing with a bucket of water, and the same bucket of water is somehow expected to replace toilet papers and hose too! Yep you got that right! only in THAIland

Squat toilets

Turns out Thai people are big on squat toilets so if you are planning on volunteering in Thailand, you should keep that in mind. Squat toilets do have their benefits like for example not having to sit after someone else and by that you could avoid a long list of diseases that you could get in Thailand; however, I doubt that anyone who is used to normal sitting toilets can adapt to squat toilets easily, so I think you should put that in mind before you embark on any long commitment with a school in a unique country in Thailand!

This is what a Thai toilet looks like

Dirty Toilets

Yes the photo perfectly describes how a Thai toilet looks like, and believe me 80% of the toilets at least in the provinces like for example the one I am staying in are THAT DIRTY, and the worst part is that Thai people are big on not wearing flipflops inside the houses so most probably you are either going to go in with a really dirty pair of socks or a barefoot that you would so much like to get amputated after you go in there

Finally, this is only one side of beautiful Thailand, in nowhere here have I mentioned the kind Thai people or the beautiful scenery in Pattaya and industrialized Bangkok, so stay tuned for my next post!


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      Ed 14 months ago

      Lived in various countries where squat toilets are common

      1. The flushing action is by dumping several pails of water til the solids are gone

      2. Toilet paper also doubles as napkins as a lot of places don't offer them, so yes, you should carry some always

      3. I keep a small bar of soap with me in a ziplock and wash, you will feel a lot cleaner than if you used paper

      4. Squat toilets also double as showers, its convienient to slip off your clothes and take a quick shower, use the bucket to wash yourself off