Squat Toilets

Squat toilets may not be on a traveler’s “top 10 list” for their trip to China, but they are almost always a part of the experience. In China, public restrooms are becoming increasingly sanitary, but some remain surprisingly awful.

China is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, and despite China’s status as a developing country, tourism and toilet facilities are well-developed at sites such as the Forbidden City, and toilets in luxury hotels are typically of a high standard. The squat toilets, on the other hand, is something that many people are surprised to see when they first arrive in China.

Squat Toilets In China

What is the concept of a squat toilet?

squat toilet

Flushing toilets are common in China but you might be surprised to learn that the best flushing toilets often come in the form of a squat toilet. This is very common while in most of the Western world, squat toilets are uncommon. In China, a person is more likely than not to step into a bathroom and find a toilet that is level with the floor. It takes a little getting used to these toilets but squat toilets aren’t too difficult to use.

Most visitors are reticent to use a squat toilet due to a lack of understanding of how to use the restroom. Since not understanding how to use these toilets will result in much longer queues for Western toilets, it’s better to be prepared.

Squat Toilets in China: How Clean Are They?

Squat toilet cleanliness varies greatly depending on where you are in China. If you’re in a high-end mall or an airport in Shanghai, you should expect the toilets to be reviewed constantly by workers and mopped on a regular basis (although it’s unclear how much the mop is cleaned).

Be prepared to enter a brick shack with no electricity and nothing more than a wide hole in the ground if you find yourself in a no-name village in the hills. They aren’t particularly attractive, but they are definitely unforgettable!

In general, as China grows, the cleanliness of public restrooms improves, and you’ll typically find yourself in one that’s on par with most Western public restrooms (though you probably wouldn’t want to spend too much time there).

There will normally be stalls available, a cleaning lady on hand (who has no qualms about moving a mop around while you’re doing your business), and, if you’re using the men’s bathroom, a few gentlemen standing around smoking before returning to work.

Using the restroom on a regular train

The toilets on Chinese trains aren’t always this spotless.
However, if nature calls when you’re on a slow train, you’re in for one of the most unpleasant experiences of your life. There are two squat toilets in each carriage (squat toilets only, unfortunately), which after an hour or two of travel time become somewhere you don’t want to be.

Because of the train’s motion, targeting becomes difficult, and you’ll need to hold on to something, as falling over on the floor is something no one should have to go through.

If you have the choice, take a high-speed bullet train. These have much better toilets that are well-serviced and might even have a Western-style toilet.

Prepare yourself for the fact that some of the lower-end public restrooms don’t have much in the way of privacy. Toilets with stall walls that are only a meter off the ground and no doors are (thankfully) being replaced with taller cubicles with doors, but the locks (if still attached) might not work, requiring you to keep the door shut or make a noise to prevent anyone from forcing it open.

Using the Hotel Bathroom Before Leaving

In China, even most 3* hotels have Western toilets and if possible, you may want to use the toilet before leaving the airport/hotel.

Visitors to China would almost certainly have to use a squat toilet at some point during their stay, but doing so before leaving the hotel will minimize the number of interruptions to their holiday.

Many people often schedule pit stops at shopping malls, fine restaurants, and international hotels, where Western toilets are typically accessible.

Since many public toilets do not have toilet paper, it’s always a good idea to stock up before leaving for the day. If you need the restroom but don’t have any toilet paper, you just have two choices. Either locate a nearby store and purchase some toilet paper or look for a nicer-looking restaurant, as many are now offering toilet paper to their patrons. Find a bar if you can and they almost always have decent toilets and toilet paper.

There’s also a good chance that there won’t be any soap or paper towels (or a blow dryer) to dry one’s hands in a toilet. Even in big cities like Beijing, you’ll find that many public restrooms lack heated water. This is great during the summer, but during the winter, when temperatures regularly drop below -10°C (14°F), it’s a good idea to bring some hand sanitizer with you.

Since several public toilets now charge a fee, you will need a small amount of cash.

Toilet Tips: How To Use A Squat Toile

1- Before entering a bathroom, get a friend or family member to hold your bags (such as shopping bags or purses). This isn’t because you’ll be robbed, but rather because there are hardly any hooks to hang these bags on, necessitating the use of both hands to maintain balance.

2- You can have to wait in line for a toilet after remembering to remove the toilet tissue from your bag. Many bathrooms have both Western and squat toilets, with signs indicating which type of toilet is in each stall. It’s not customary to simply stand in line and wait for a stall to open, so pick one and stick with it.

3- Pulling one’s long pant legs up is the next best step. This can help a person avoid having their trousers wet, whether the floor is wet from “accidents” or from toilet workers who have the job of constantly mopping bathrooms clean. Even if the toilet floor appears to be dry, the backs of loosened trouser legs lying on it are still unattractive.

4- Once you know how to use a squat toilet, it’s not that difficult. Unfortunately, many tourists visiting China will be using one for the first time. These toilets must be used in the forwards position, even for men (to avoid splashing over the waste pipe).

5- Stand with both feet on either side of the squat toilet. These toilets have grooves on both sides to help people hold their feet in place when using them. A person’s feet should be flat and in the middle of these grooves.

6- After completing all of the preceding steps, a person can squat over the toilet with their pants down to halfway down their thighs. Even if the environment appears to be spotless and tidy, it is critical not to allow clothes to touch the floor.

7- You will note a sign telling you not to flush your toilet paper and a bin next to you filled with used tissue after you’ve done your business. Nowadays, most toilets can flush a moderate amount of toilet paper, and these signs are mostly intended to prevent people from flushing all sorts of garbage down the toilet (as is done in rural toilets). So, whether you want to use the bin or try flushing the toilet paper is entirely up to you.

8- When it’s time to get up, remember that the average Westerner isn’t used to spending such a brief amount of time squatting. If you haven’t practiced, blood will rush back to your legs and you will have trouble balancing.

9- When flushing the toilet, keep a safe distance to prevent any spray or splashback.

Also read:

The truth about portable toilets around the world

How to clean your bathroom and toilet

Categorized as Toilets

Portable Toilets Business

Public toilets are still uncommon in many areas around the world, especially Africa, South America and Asia, including motor parks, bus stops, and other public places in major cities. Considering the number of times most people use the restroom every day, it’s a real nuisance. We go to the bathroom without giving it much thought because we can go whenever we want. But in many places around the world, finding a public toilet can be impossible. 

In many cities and towns in Africa and India, the sign “Do Not Urinate Here” is one of the most popular and disobeyed. Finding a public toilet is one of the biggest problems faced by people when traveling around some countries. 

There’s an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to start up businesses providing public mobile toilet facilities and transform a shit market into a profitable business opportunity.

Without a doubt, people are willing to pay for the convenience of using clean and decent restrooms, whether they are squat toilets or western toilets.

Mobile toilets are useful at outdoor parties, conferences, and conventions. Both private and public toilet facilities have huge potential and will continue to do so as long as humans generate biological waste. 

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Mobile toilet opportunity in Africa

Millions of people flood into the crowded streets of Africa’s major cities every day to make a living. Many leave their homes early in the morning and do not return for several hours. The majority of people spend a significant amount of time on the move, in markets and other public areas. And almost everyone needs to use the restroom but can’t find one, even though they’re willing to pay for it. 

On a continent where many basic needs remain unmet, entrepreneurs who concentrate on meeting these needs are twice as likely to come up with a profitable business concept as those looking for something completely different. 

It’s an inevitable result of the foods we consume, and shit will still remain as long as we do. And, like the other tonnes of waste we generate on a daily basis (including garbage), it must be disposed of or our world will become uninhabitable.

People are willing to pay to have their waste disposed of in a cost-effective and convenient manner; it is a dire need in many parts of our continent. 

There are many profitable business ideas in Africa, but one of the simplest approaches to a lucrative business idea is to find a solution to people’s needs. Take, for example, Dar es Salaam, a city of over 6 million people and the epicenter of intense economic and business activity.

Despite the city’s large population, public restrooms are woefully inadequate and often inaccessible to those who need to relieve themselves. As a consequence, it’s normal to see people urinating in open and public spaces indiscriminately, when many others, who have more important matters to attend to, retreat to nearby bushes. 

As many people are forced to dispose of their waste in a variety of locations, Dar es Salaam, like many other African cities, suffers from serious public health consequences as a result of inadequate human waste disposal. 

Why The Toilet Business is Big Business

If you’re not sure how important this business is, consider how many times you use the restroom every day. We go to the bathroom without giving it much thought because we can go whenever we want. But did you know that there will be moments when you are pressed for time and will not be at the spot where you normally poop or urinate freely? 

I’ve been in circumstances where I was pressed for time and couldn’t wait to get where I needed to go before I had to urinate. And not everybody has access to adequate toilet facilities. Such individuals would not mind using any nearby mobile toilet. Even if you have a good bathroom, you can find yourself in a situation where you need to use the restroom somewhere. 

All of this is being said so that you can put yourself in the shoes of thousands of consumers who will need toilet service in a single day. In every economy, the mobile toilet thrives. People must use the restroom as much as they eat or drink. It’s a natural occurrence. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are wealthy or poor, male or female, young or old.

The Public Health Act of 2009 suggests municipal governments need to have public restrooms, although it does not obligate them to do so. The Local Government and Urban Authority Act, on the other hand, requires local governments to establish a “community plan” that aims to improve the quality of life of local communities and contribute to the country’s sustainable development by taking steps to improve the area’s economic, social, and environmental well-being.

If you’re looking interested in getting into the mobile toilet business, you must first identify your target market. Which kind of clientele do you want to cater to? Anyone who joins now has the opportunity to grow and become a dominant figure in the local market, and the mobile toilets industry and its benefits will respond to these trends.

Here are some of the most common places where mobile toilet services are needed.

1- Building sites

This is the most significant are and accounts for roughly 60% of the overall sector and includes the construction of housing units, office buildings, highways, apartments, and bridges. 

In most African countries, construction firms are required by law to provide sanitation services, even if the work is being done by a small crew on a private home. Mobile toilets are ideal for all construction sites because they are easy to set up in even the most remote areas. On construction sites, mobile toilets can improve worker efficiency and are easy to relocate as needs change. In the building industry, rental contracts are usually for a long period of time.

2- Events

The event industry can mean substantial additional income, especially in the summer, on weekends, and for large events such as football world cups, pope visits, or the Olympic Games. 

Although it is still an important sector, it only accounts for 20% of the market. Concerts, festivals, sporting activities, exhibits and fairs, and weddings are among the most popular events.

When used at events, portable toilets will not only give visitors a good impression, but they will also boost sales for the organiser because people will stay longer and spend more money. 

This is also the section in which the most handicapped toilets are needed. The majority of rental contracts in the event industry are for a limited time. 

3- Parking Garages

People who want to drive or who are returning from trips can still be found in any motor park. People rush to the restroom before boarding their vehicles, particularly if they are going on a long journey. People getting off buses, on the other hand, might need to use the restroom because they have been on the road. They may want to take it easy before arriving at their final destinations. As a result, motor parks are an ideal place for placing mobile toilets for public use. 

4- Recreation Areas

Beaches, lakesides, sporting grounds, and zoos are examples of recreational areas that require toilets. This segment accounts for around 10% of the market, depending on the country. However, this does not imply that it should be abandoned. 

By providing mobile toilets here, the site will no longer need costly sewer, water, or electrical hookups, and will once again project a more positive picture. Rental agreements in the leisure industry are usually short to midterm.

5- Other

Bus firms, agriculture, armed forces, and mining activities are examples of places that need toilets. Also, supermarkets, utility companies, and industrial facilities with workers and or consumers who work or shop outside. 

It has a comparable market share (ten percent) to leisure and is commonly seen as a way to boost the corporate image, employee morale, and even keep customers on-site for longer periods of time. Rental agreements in the commercial sector are usually long-term. 

Construction sites, manufacturing plants/petrochemical facilities, markets, fields, horse shows, parks, beaches, ski slopes, parades, local funfairs, military missions, disaster-relief activity, and all kinds of activities are just some of the places where mobile toilets are used. 

After all the eating and drinking, how would these people react to nature’s call? 

Categorized as Toilets