Some people like to know prior to visiting a country whether they’ll have to do some quad training so they can use squat toilets easier when they arrive. Only kidding, but it’s good to know what sort of toilets are available so you can be prepared.
Throughout Myanmar (Burma) I found a mixture of western toilets and squat toilets and in villages sometimes a pit.
I have to say that every toilet I used was clean, with toilet paper and facilities to wash your hands with soap outside (except in the villages).
This toilet and hand basin (above) were at the Golden Kite Restaurant in Nyaungshwe. Often the western style toilets have a bidet water spray also known as ‘bum gun’. You’ll notice that they are always on the right side of the toilet (as you’re sitting on it). You can use it as a spray to rinse yourself off after doing your business. If using toilet paper, locals only use their left hand. But toilet paper isn’t often used and is more frequently provided for westerners.
This is a squat toilet (above) and a very clean one I might add. There is air freshener on the shelf above, spray gun, toilet paper and bin. You can also use the spray gun to rinse the toilet. They’re not always as nice as this but the Burmese are very proud of their cleanliness. I will often choose a squat toilet over a western one because I find them cleaner. Of course, one day my knees will give out on me and it’ll be back to the sit toilet. At a market in Yangon I paid my 200 kyat to go to the bathroom and they were packed with people waiting to use 5 cubicles one of which was had no door. I was last in the queue but when one of the doors opened, they invited me to use it first. It was a western toilet. I felt blessed and grateful to these women who were giving me the gift of what they felt I wanted.
Some of the guys were grateful for an outdoor urinal in the humid weather. In fact urinals are common in most places for the guys. There was always a western or squat toilet available for them as well.
The fancier hotels look like any other around the world but the sign to the Ladies may look something like this pictured above. It took me a second glance to appreciate what it was. Signs are often intriguing when designating male and female toilets.
Toilet paper is always neatly folded over in your hotel room.
IN SUMMARY: Bring along a packet of hand wipes, the ones that hold about 20. I only used one packet in two weeks but was getting used to using the spray gun so tended to not need them. Be mindful that locals don’t often flush their toilet paper, instead choosing to put it in a bin next to the toilet. Note: sometimes you have to pay 200 kyat to use a toilet. Please pay it. It’s only 20c (AUST. $’s) and the women do a great job of keeping them clean. Don’t forget to wash your hands. If there’s no soap and water, use your wipes. By the way, hand sanitiser isn’t that great for getting rid of germs and wouldn’t bother bringing it along.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me of you interesting toilet travelling experiences – well the clean ones.