Toilets: Asian Style vs European Style

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor November 23rd, 2014 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Europe Travel Blog, Travel Blog 8 Comments

Everyone poops. Nothing special about that. But it’s certainly amazing if you think about the different ways people go about it.

Most Westerners are used to the sit-shit-toilet paper routine and would have it no other way. Know, ye toilet-paper lovers, that there are several more ways of going about this particular business. You may or may not not enjoy them, but you sure could give them a try at least once, even if it’s just for the experience!


Like many things in India, the toilet practices are evolving too.

Of course, the original way to go about the cleaning process is using a mug. You’ve heard about the mug, haven’t you? You haven’t? Ok, let’s start from the start then.

Indian Toilet 2Indian Toilet- Have you experienced one?

The picture you see above is the traditional Indian toilet. You squat on it and make your dung. Then comes the tricky (or “eewww” if you will) part. You take a mug full of water with one hand and pour it over your lower back. Simultaneously, your other hand reaches down there from the front and cleans it with the water.

Afterwards, make sure you wash your hands well with soap!

But now, you find the hand-shower in many Indian toilets. I say hand-shower, but you could very well refer to it as the anus-shower because it is used to clean your anus. But you hold it in your hand so hand-shower isn’t wrong either… anyway, you get the idea.

Like I said earlier, the toilet scenario in India is evolving. You will find Western toilets in many Indian homes, especially in or around the cities. You will also find a hybridtoilet. Here’s how it looks.

Indian Toilet 2

This one can be used both to squat and to sit on. Just pull the lid down and it becomes an awesome throne!


I never knew what a bidet was before I visited Italy. It was present in all the Italians toilets I went in but I couldn’t for my life imagine what it was used for!

I was staying at a B&B in Arezzo and there was an Italian girl staying in the next room and I decided to ask her.

So, the next time we met in the common room, I went up to her. “Hi! Could you please tell me what that thing in the toilet is?”

Italian bidet and toilet

She couldn’t suppress a smile. “Well, it’s used to wash your er… pubes,” she said and explained that you could either half-squat on it facing the tap or otherwise and use the water from the tap to wash.

Basically, it does the same thing as a hand shower. But there’s a tap and it’s fixed in a different structure built specifically for this purpose.


I could go back to this wonderful country just to be able to use their awesome toilets. Japan is known for its technology but what is even more amazing is the way they make use of technology in everyday life.

Japan toilet

The Japanese toilets are a combination of regular Western toilets and the bidet.

At first sight, it seems like any Western toilet where you sit and do your thing. But then you notice there’s a panel full of buttons beside you and you realise it’s not your regular throne. Once you’re done pooping, you press one of these buttons and a pipe appears somewhere under you and shoots a jet of water on your anus!

Whew! You’re surprised because of its force and because it’s so damn freezing! Fear not, because you can control all that through the buttons on that panel. And if you are a woman, there’s a different button to wash your pubes too!

So, after you had the perfect water force and temperature and decide that you’re clean enough, there’s the wee little bit of a chance that you just might want to hang around to enjoy the sensation for a couple of more minutes!

That’s about all the dung I am able to make today. Happy pooping!


The author of this post is Andy, a journalist and travel writer based in Kolkata, India. He runs, where you get all sorts of information on how to spend less and travel more. You can follow Andy on Facebook and Twitter where he shares awesome budget travel tips and deals.

Toilets: Asian Style vs European Style


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8 thoughts on “Toilets: Asian Style vs European Style

  1. I’m living in Japan now and one thing that I especially love about this country is their toilet (to be honest). During winter, you can choose to keep the thing warm for sitting! It’s really cool and I could totally stay there for an hour for comfort. Lol.

  2. I couldn’t stop laughing with this one! Chinese people’s throne is exactly the same as the Indian ones, plus all of the spit, bloody pads, soiled nappies, etc. in the public toilet. I actually prefer squatting on the Chinese style ones than the western style toilet, when I’m in public. Because of the very obvious reason. 🙂 But students’ toilet, (I’m talking about the toilet where there’s no door in every cubicle and the cubicle wall is only up to my hips. I’m 5’2″, by the way.) is just too much for me. Especially, on winter times. You know, layers and layers of clothes and long-johns/leggings/tights under-your jeans times?! And your students will say hi to you while making business with nature?!

    1. hahahhaha!! One of the funniest comment I’ve ever read today! hahaha! I did that many times on Vietnamese schools’s toilet! haha

      1. I just saw your comment, Kach! I apologize. That’s why I love backpack. 🙂 I wear my backpack as a “frontpack” LOL! To cover the things that need to be covered, when I’m the campus’ toilet. 🙂

  3. My eldest used the bidet for washing his hands, until he got to the age of reaching the toilet basin! Have tried the squat down-type (first picture) in China though.

      1. These information may be stupid, butt very essential before you travel to another country. This will help us to understand there follow of culture.

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