Chinese Toilet: 11 Things Every Traveller Must Know in 2023


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Chinese Toilet 11 Things Every Traveller Must Know in 2023

While going on an adventure-filled trip to China may be on top of every traveller’s bucket list, planning toilet trips around their schedule? Not so much. Chinese toilets have been the talk of the travel community for ages, and many Westerners fear the inconvenience of using a squat toilet.

But your trip to China can be full of wanderlust and happy memories once you know what to expect from toilets in China. This blog explores the tips and tricks for finding toilets in China where you can do your business peacefully. Read on to know more.

What is Different About the Toilets in China

Is it difficult to find public toilets while touring around China?
Toilet Sign in China. Image source: Adobe Stock

Let us first understand what exactly is a squat toilet. Even though they are not seen much in Western countries, these floor-level toilets are common in China. The toilet bowl is fixed into the ground so the user must squat down to use it.

Toilets in China are not extremely hard to use. Most tourists have problems using them because they are not well-versed in these toilets. Learning these tips can also save you some time from the long lines for Western toilets, so you can enjoy the packed markets of China to the fullest.

11 Things to Know About Chinese Toilet

Now that you know what a Chinese toilet is, it’s time to learn the tips, tricks and information to help you navigate China’s buzzy cities like a local.

You might have many questions like: Is it difficult to find public toilets while touring around China? Are all the public toilets unhygienic? Does every restroom have a squat-style toilet? 

Well, this section answers all your questions, so read on to learn your way around toilets in China now.

Cleanliness and Hygiene

Cleanliness in toilets is heavily dependent on the area you are in, but most toilets near tourist attractions are relatively clean. If visiting a high-end shopping mall or business complex in big cities like Shanghai or deciding to relieve themselves at the airport, travellers can expect clean toilets frequently mopped by staff and maintained well.

Are all the public toilets unhygienic?
Public Toilets in China. Image source: Freepik

But, on the contrary, if you are on an adventurous off-trail journey where you end up in a village in China’s countryside, be prepared to do your business in a not-so-clean narrow space. The experience is not pretty or sophisticated, but it makes for a good story!


A public toilet in China offers almost no privacy, so be prepared to have an open mindset.

Most stalls have new walls being built around them, but they are just a meter high with no doors. But with the new policy, these stalls have started being replaced by taller walls and doors.

Plan your Trip

Although it may sound a little surprising, planning your day and making pit stops at malls, nice restaurants, and high-end shopping centres can increase your chances of finding clean, Western-style washrooms. Follow a tourist-centric path every couple of hours to use restrooms in these places.

Hygiene Products

Most Chinese toilets do not have toilet paper or soap. Carrying your own hygiene products, including tampons, pads, sanitiser, and soaps, will be more reliable in helping you clean up easily.

Look for Star Rating

Star-rated Chinese toilets will usually maintain cleanliness and have toilet paper. So be on the lookout for a minimum of three to four stars when looking for a toilet in China to relieve yourself.

Take a Friend

Since there is an issue with cleanliness in most rural or local public toilets, it is always a good idea to take a friend with you who can hold your belongings. The toilet stalls often lack a hook to put your stuff, and you would not want to keep it on the ground as these booths are wet.

How to Use the Squat Toilet

How to Use the Squat Toilet?
Squat Toilet in China. Image source: iStock

Squat toilets are easy to use once you learn how to use them. You must place your feet in the grooves provided on the toilet and pull your pants halfway down your thighs. It is essential to hold a door or handle for support if available. Then squat over the toilet to relieve yourself. Clean yourself and get up gently so you do not lose balance.

Throw Waste in the Bin

Toilets in China are not meant to flush waste, such as toilet paper. There will always be a dustbin near your toilet seat, so after cleaning up, always throw your waste in the bin.

Face in the Right Direction

When using a toilet in China, knowing which direction you must face is important. Always have your back towards the wall and face forward. Additionally, do not let your back or any body part touch the walls or the floor, as it may increase your chances of getting an infection.

Smoking in the Bathroom

In China, smoking is allowed pretty much everywhere, including toilets. So, men in China often smoke in the bathroom, and you should not be surprised if you find someone doing that.

Toilet has Multiple Names

Squat toilets, toilets, washrooms, restrooms, bathrooms, public toilet and washing hands rooms are all names for a toilet in China. So, if you are stuck in a market looking for a place to do your business, look for any of these restrooms.

Wrapping Up

Most public toilets in China located in cities and popular tourist attractions are clean and easy to find. However, if you are an off-trail adventurer, remember that many rural areas in China are still under development. This means that cleanliness levels are not uniform across the country. It is important to keep an open mind as that’s all that travel is about, right?

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