BJS/SHA public restrooms

Jan 28th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 95
BJS/SHA public restrooms

Have heard all kinds of horror stories regarding public restrooms in China. Will be going in 26Mar to 03Apr to Shanghai and Beijing.
Would like some tips - unfortunately my daughter and I have rather small bladders. I was advised to only wear skirts to make it easier. It must be better these days isn't it?!
Also are temps anywhere 45 deg F and 65 deg F in both places?
DMary is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I haven't been to Shanghai but I was in Bejing in November...yes, some bathrooms are pretty horrid (by Western standards). Definitely wearing a skirt will help a lot...carry tissue with you. Squat all the way down to make it most comfortable and to minimize "leakage"!!If you can stick to bathrooms in the hotels and major tourist attractions (Forbidden City, Summer Palace, etc.), those ones are USUALLY pretty good. It's the public washrooms that are mostly quite awful (like in the hutongs of Beijing). I won't go into gory details but I have a few memorable toilet stories from China!
It has apparently improved a lot but there are still some restrooms that need major upgrading.
But don't let that take away from your trip...think of it as part of the experience!

Good luck!!
vancouvergirl is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
If you"never pass up an opportunity" when you are in decent bathroom place, you will have no problem. Lots of nice hotels in both cities, and most big tourist sites have passable bathrooms. Bring handwash with you and close your eyes.
Elainee is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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My cousins went to Guangzhou and Shenzhen recently, and they were all very impressed by the bathrooms in modern hotels/restaurants. In fact, they are usually fancier and higher-tech than ones we see here in the US.

But of course, there are still plenty of ugly ones out there.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 369
My daughter and I had no problem whatsoever with the restrooms in Beijing or Shanghai, even though this had been our main worry. Just ignore the horror stories. In fact, if you locate the stall with a handicap logo on it, it will be a Western-style toilet, rather than a squat. However, after I tried a squat toilet in an emergency, I found I actually preferred them for cleanliness. I wore jeans most of the time and had no difficulty with my clothing. Be sure to carry tissue with you, but it will not always be needed. Some restrooms are actually very plush with marble fixtures, piped in music, green plants, attendants who dry your hands for you, etc.

By the way, when I was in Beijing last year in mid-April, it was downright HOT!
OJudy is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 02:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 95
Thanks everyone for great insights! and we will definitely be one of those who "never pass up an opportunity"! Guess it can't be any worse than a portable toilet here in California. It was the story about no doors/privacy that scared us not so much the squatting part.
DMary is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 02:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
There is a website called that gives location and rates bathrooms all over the world for cleanliness, etc. It is a riot to read and can actually be helpful.

I lived in Asia for 10 years and always used bathrooms in 5 star hotels whenever I would pass one while out shopping or on tourist trips. No one will stop you as they assume you are staying there. You will generally find them off the lobby area or near a restaurant, just ask. Note that many ladies rooms at 5 start hotels have attendants and it is polite to tip them. I generally donít think the bathrooms in Asia are any worse than public bathrooms in the US, think about places like Penn Station in New York, do you think that is really any cleaner than public bathrooms in Beijing?
Cicerone is offline  

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