How to Use a Squat Toilet

It wouldn’t be traveling without squat toilets.

We’ve used these plenty on various trips throughout southeast Asia, but between you and me, Mark and I have always wondered if we understood the process 100% correctly.

There’s a hose, but why a bucket too? Is it for your hands? For your, um, nether regions? For rinsing the potty? And how to you keep your clothes dry when the floor is always wet? Then there’s the matter of toilet paper. Is it okay to flush it (assuming you’ve even got any)?

Now that we’re in Turkey, where squats outnumber thrones by a sizable margin, we decided it’s time to educate ourselves once and for all.

Normally I chat up the locals when I need information but, um, not this time, thanks. Fortunately — and a bit surprisingly — I found this little gem on WikiHow. It outlines everything we wanted to know (and then some).

How to Use a Squat Toilet


Guess what! There’s a video too…

Got it? Good. My work is done.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Ippels September 1, 2011 at 4:32 am

Sorry Renee, can’t bring myself to watch the video, however instructional it may be. Seen one too many of them living and traveling in Asia. Your one pic is enough to bring back some traumatic memories! Ack!! 🙂


2 Renee September 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

He he. I couldn’t believe WikiHow had such a detailed article. Hilarious. Though it did answer a few nagging questions….


3 Kate Terhaar September 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm

OMG Renee!! I did watch the video and I wish you could see my face right now! Thanks for the enlightenment.


4 Renee September 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

LOL, you’re welcome.


5 Mark September 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm

The video is sure interesting… Kate, we haven’t gone completely native yet.


6 elaine September 3, 2011 at 12:47 am

OMG! OOOO MMMM GGGG. i can’t stop laughing.


7 Renee September 3, 2011 at 5:45 am

This blog isn’t just fun and games you know. Lots of valuable info here…;-)


8 staceystoyanov September 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm

My six year-old daughter cannot stop giggling after watching this with me. She has plenty of experience with squat toilets, however, it is QUITE funny to dissect it as such, and laugh at the bits that can actually be quite comical! (she especially loved the bit with the lack of privacy aka man looks over 2ft wall at other man occupying neighboring stall…as well as the ‘star’ falling in on 1st attempt – luckily she has never exp’d that 1st hand)


9 Renee September 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Glad you two enjoyed it, Stacey. It’s pretty hilarious.


10 Jim Hamer September 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm

It’s good to learn a new skill every day …


11 Donna Schwarz-Nielsen September 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Lol..haven’t struck too many of them here in Turkey but when I  lived in Asia I had no choice. Once in Cambodia I shared a squat toilet with a huge big furry bat hanging upside down above me. I didn’t notice it until I was in ‘the position’ and it moved. Needless to say, I moved quicker! The bucket is usually for  flushing said toilet.
Fun post – thanks!:)


12 Renee September 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

Thanks, Donna.

HIlarious about the bat. I’d have moved quicker too.


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