8 Ways Countries Are Different When It Comes to Bathroom Etiquette

3 years ago

Bathroom traditions in foreign countries can differ, like when you come to Korea, for example, some things might amaze or shock you. Even the way some people wash their hands can be unusual and instead of a dispenser, you may see a weird device with soap in public toilets.

We at Bright Side studied some special toilet habits of other countries and would like to share some curious facts with you.

1. You can find special soap in public toilets in Korea.

We’ve already gotten used to seeing soap dispensers in public toilets, but people who have traveled to Korea saw one thing that is unique there. Bloggers notice that you are in general lucky to find soap in a bathroom, but mostly it’s a bar of soap that is attached to a pole and you need to rub it to be able to clean your hands.

2. Public toilets in Japan might have an emergency button.

Some public toilets in Japan have a very useful feature — an emergency button. Sometimes foreigners confuse it with a flush button. It sends an alarm to security to check on the stall. It’s an especially good device for the elder population who may need some help.

3. There is a system called Sound Princess in Japan.

Some Japanese women can get embarrassed that they can be heard by others while being in the toilet. To reduce this stress and cover the sound, engineers created a device that produces the sound of flushing water without the need for actual flushing, so there is no water waste.

4. Many places in China still have squat toilets.

Many areas in China have traditional squat toilets, especially public toilets. Despite this, bloggers say that travelers also have an option of sitting ones. Some people have a hard time with balance in a squatting position which is especially difficult while taking a Chinese train.

5. Toilets in Cambodia have a hose spray.

Cambodian toilets have several features. First, a public toilet is a rare thing. Second, you need to throw used toilet paper in a basket because many sewage systems can’t handle toilet paper. Third, they have a hose spray in the bathroom used for washing oneself and hosing down the loo.

6. You can find all-gender toilets in the USA, Canada, Japan, and Thailand.

These public toilets are created for a wide range of people with or without special needs, including people with disabilities, the elderly, and transgender people. It’s also very useful for parents who need to help their child with using the toilet.

7. People in Antarctica use portable toilets.

Travelers share that there are special tents for the toilets in Antarctica. You may find a special toilet to pee and to poo. The poo toilets are portable and can wrap and seal your waste in a plastic bag.

These special portable Japanese toilets are pretty interesting, after finishing your business “you need to push a button to seal the bag. It takes 2 minutes to finish the sealing process.” Then you deposit your poo bag in the garbage.

8. They use the left hand for the toilet and the right hand for food in Indonesia.

The Indonesian way is similar to the Muslim way they don’t use toilet paper they keep a jug of water by the toilet and use their bare left hand to wipe/clean. Thats why they don’t eat with the left hand.


In some cultures, people divide hands for hygiene and for eating. Indonesia is one of them. They may find it rude if you hand things to them with your left hand because it is considered a “toilet hand” for wiping. The right hand is for offering and for food.

What different bathroom customs do you know of? What was the most interesting or weirdest bathroom that you’ve seen in your life?

Preview photo credit Hwajangshil/reddit, Shutterstock.com


Get notifications

I think #6 appears in many more countries. I've seen them in Korea, and I'm sure there's several other areas.


Related Reads