who are the watsons?
We are a 30-something married couple who decided to leave behind our home, careers and comfortable Silicon Valley lifestyle to try a new course. Join us as we travel the world to learn about other cultures, lifestyles and ways to generate income beyond the traditional 9-5.

Photo Friday: Thai Squat Toilets

I know how fascinated many of you are with the toilets of the world, so here’s your next installment: a squat toilet in Thailand.

A squat toilet in Bo Sang, Thailand

While there are many Western-style toilets in Thailand, you will undoubtedly encounter your fair share of squat toilets in public facilities, particularly while on the road. Gas stations, bus stations, smaller villages… most are equipped with toilets of the squatting variety. Here are a few tips for the ladies:

  • If you are above 5’4″, you may have to get creative in your positioning. The toilets are designed for women who are much smaller than you, so you might have to stand outside the porcelain rim to get low enough.
  • Always carry tissue or toilet paper with you. You’d be surprised how often you won’t find toilet paper in even Western-style facilities. Many Thais seem to use a spray hose as a bidet. Of course, there’s not always one of those, either.
  • You “flush” the toilet by pouring water from the bucket until it’s clean. The facility above is a little worse for the wear but, due to the nature of the bucket flushing system, expect everything in the bathroom to be wet. At least there’s usually a drain in the floor.
  • Keep an eye open for mosquitoes. They love the relatively dark environment of a bathroom and the ample water supply in the bucket. Once Brian unleashed a cloud of “skeeters” when he grabbed a dishful of water to flush the toilet. Disgusting!
  • Don’t expect a sink to wash your hands. Even if there is one, don’t expect any soap or a towel to dry off. Instead, carry hand sanitizer.

My how far we have come since the robo-toilets of New Zealand.


  • Frank Mayhar

    I encountered those in China in a few places, fortunately nowhere that I was forced to use one, thank the travel gods. Definitely a culture-shocker. :-)

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Brian

    It’s easier for men than women. It’s like a urinal, in the ground, that you have to pour a chaser of water into (or three to get it really clean).