Tourist and travel information for China: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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Beijing Toilets

Reports in western media have highlighted efforts to introduce throne-style toilets in Beijing's Olympic venues in place of the traditional Asian-style squat toilet.

Western style toilets will be introduced at the National Indoor Stadium, the National Stadium (Bird's Nest), and the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) in time for the arrival of athletes, media and Olympic organizers.

Western style toilet

Improvement to Beijing notoriously poor public toilets has been underway for some time with new star-rated toilets already installed at the Forbidden City, Great Wall and the Summer Palace. Beijing has presently over 5,000 public toilets around the city.

With increased prosperity, many Chinese now seem to prefer the western style toilet to its Asian counterpart, despite the fact that squatting is the healthiest way to completely evacuate the bowels and is known to prevent painful piles.

Visitors to Beijing should be prepared to bring along a packet of paper tissues as toilet paper is rarely available when using a traditional squat public toilet. Do not put the paper in the bowl but in the wastebasket nearby and do not expect any privacy.

A small fee is charged for use.

Hutong public toilets, basically cesspits which are sucked out by truck each week, are only for the brave, especially in summer.

If caught short, head for fast food outlets, hotels or shopping malls. The sign for men is 男; women 女.


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