A guide to the toilets of the world

Squat toilets are common across Asia. Photo / iStock
Squat toilets are common across Asia. Photo / iStock

Many travellers experience culture shock - but what about when it happens in the bathroom?

From squat toilets in Asian countries to fees for toilet paper, a handy infographic by bathroom company Sloan has summed up everything you need to know, for when you need to go.

While it's fairly unusual to pay to use a toilet in New Zealand - except when passing through Taupo - it's actually quite common in many parts of the world. Throughout Europe and Asia, pay toilets are ubiquitous and you're also more likely to encounter live attendants - and yes, they'll expect a tip.

In Taiwan, which is home to Modern Toilet, a chain of bathroom-themed eateries, you'll often be required to pay for toilet paper. In India, the profits from most pay toilets go to the social service organisation Sulabh International, which operates toilets in areas with poor sanitation.

In German petrol stations, you'll pay to enter the bathroom facilities, but your money is refunded on the way out.

Even what seems like the standard design of a toilet can't be taken for granted overseas.

In many Asian countries, you're more likely to encounter squat toilets - which are built into the floor for users to squat over. Although it might seem like a foreign concept, the practice of squatting is actually very good for your bowels.

Japan is known for its high-tech toilets, with built-in bidets and heated seats. Some even provide a soundtrack of white noise, to cover up any embarrassing sounds.

Many German toilets have a platform built in to allow users to inspect their deposits before flushing.

With so much variation, it's best to prepare for the unexpected - especially as the average person visits the john six to eight times a day. It's wise to carry hand sanitiser in case there's no soap and water. Also make sure you have change in case of entry charges and while you're at, save money by carrying toilet paper.

- nzherald.co.nz

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