Finding A Bathroom Around the World

The Bathroom Diaries: When You Gotta Go, Wherever You Are

By Mei Mei Thai

Branson, Missouri – Valhalla a.k.a. Shoji Tabuchi Theatre
Branson, Missouri – Valhalla aka Shoji Tabuchi Theatre

Have you ever encountered a horrifying bathroom that you had to resist using while traveling around the world? A restroom without toilet paper? No running water? Or even a toilet that didn’t flush? Or perhaps, you didn’t experience the unsanitary filth. Instead, you were able to do what you had to do comfortably in a very well kept bathroom… in another country. That’s fortunate!

However, you don’t have to fly into another country having to deal with dirty bathrooms. All you have to do is check out to work out a plan for your next trip.

The Bathroom Diaries is a clever and useful website. Even CNN, ABC Today, and the National Geographic have praised its contents and functionality.

What It’s About

The Bathroom Diaries is a helpful and in a sense, comical website that any traveler can browse through to find a bathroom around the world. It provides a list of over 8,000 bathrooms of hotels, airports, and other public facilities around the globe, each with either a good or bad rating in terms of sanitization, safety, and aesthetics. Over 100 countries are included in this list such as Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, Greece, Morrocco, South Africa and more.

But That’s Not All

The Bathroom Diaries allows you to add other bathrooms that you’ve used onto the list with your own ratings and comments. Not only do you get to submit your own experience with a bathroom in a foreign country, but you also get to nominate the best, unique and/or creative restroom you’ve ever seen into the Bathroom of the Week contest.

You can also read several amusing or disgusting travel essays submitted by other travelers’ personal experiences with the restrooms on The Bathroom Diaries’ Travel Essays section. If you want, you could also submit and share with other viewers your own bathroom tales for this site.

This Travel Essays section has the Editor’s picks, new essays, and short briefings from Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Many are interesting and some are funny, while others gross you out… which makes you realize how much you should appreciate your own working toilet!

Below are a few stories taken from the essays section that will give you an idea of the horrors some people experienced in using a public bathroom in another country. Also, the following link will take you directly to the Editor’s Picks. Essays Reprinted by permission of The Bathroom Diaries, LLC.


I can’t tell you exactly where it is, probably because the experience was so bad that I’ve forgotten the less consequential details. All I remember is that it was in a pub in southern France, in the men’s toilets (I can’t remember why I used the men’s – I’m a woman – but I think maybe it was because there was only one toilet.) Anyway, it was one of those squat toilets. The bathroom was tiny. I did what I had to do (that level of detail is especially unwarranted with what is to come next) and flushed.

**Instant flooding** The flush mechanism was distorted so the water spurt out everywhere – all over the floor, (nicely collecting my doings on the way) and spurting all up and down my jeans. I was completely soaked, and never again will I lock a bathroom door, for that second required to unlock the door and leap out meant I got another litre of two of that sewage on me.

Bad, Bad Experience Guys.

Turkey, 1976

We spent the night parked in a Combi Van at a gas station in Eastern Turkey during freezing cold weather, and before bed-time, had to negotiate the bathroom in total darkness. One of my traveling companions, expecting the usual squat type toilet, was pleasantly surprised when, backing himself over the hole and lowering his rear end, felt himself supported and sat down comfortably to do his business.

The next morning, in daylight, he was horrified to discover that he had been reclining on a top of a cone of frozen sh*t deposited by countless other individuals who had been there before him.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial, China

About 18 years ago, just as China was opening up to visitors we took a trip to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial and Museum. Anticipating many tourists, a new toilet had been built with clean cement floors, traditional holes in floor but with feet carefully painted so you would know where to squat. It was on the side of a hill with a beautiful valley below and large vegetable gardens. My daughter and I were so glad to find a clean toilet. But when we came out and looked down the hill there was a man with a basket carrying deposits from the toilets to the vegetable gardens. My daughter was horrified. Reprinted by permission of The Bathroom Diaries, LLC.

Solid gold plumbing at the 3-D Gold Store, in Hong Kong.
Solid gold plumbing at the 3-D Gold Store, in Hong Kong.

Top 10 – Bathrooms Around the World

  1. Sheboygan, Wisconsin – The John Michael Kohler Arts Center
  2. Singapore – Singapore Zoological Gardens
  3. Smith College Museum of Art
  4. New York – Bar 89
  5. Singapore – Alexandra Hospital
  6. Victorian Toilets – Scotland, U.K.
  7. Hong Kong – 3-D Gold Store
  8. New York – 40/40
  9. Antarctica – Central West Antarctica

For more details of these bathrooms, go to:

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