beijing public toilets, the video game

beijing public toilets map

Alas, I’m just kidding. But that is exactly what I thought when I was walking out of the Dongsishitao subway station and saw this handy map. Lights on this electronic map randomly flash to draw attention to the various locations of the toilets; in the picture it is at the top right hand corner. I’m not sure what function that flashing light serves, it’s not as though the toilets aren’t clearly laid out on the map and I’m fairly certain that they don’t indicate when a public toilet is empty. Perhaps it is to draw attention to the map as a whole–it certainly worked on me.

With 5, 174 public toilets, Beijing has the most public toilets in the world. Toilets are even rated by the tourism bureau “based on such criteria as granite floors, remote-sensor flushes, automatic hand driers and piped-in music.”

That last link also mentions that there is a World Toilet Summit and a World Toilet Organization, both of which are dedicated to “bring[ing] the neglected issue of toilets and sanitation to the forefront”.

In my personal experience, Beijing’s public toilets rank amongst some of the better and cleaner toilets that I have come across in China.  Except in my office building–even though those are not public, they certainly feel like they are.   On their worst days, they rank right up there with the toilets on the sleeper train.

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3 Comments on "beijing public toilets, the video game"

  1. Sara
    10/04/2008 at 10:40 am Permalink

    You have to love Chinese toilets! I read on a website on plumbing (don’t ask how I found that…) that the first flush toilet was found in China! Pretty bizarre considering how many Chinese toilets that are not flushable. You should also check out this toilet on China Madness, Better be prepared to spread them if you want to use this toilet!

  2. fiona
    12/04/2008 at 2:17 am Permalink

    Hey Sara, I did not know that! I’m as surprised as you are.

    Thank you so much for pointing out China Madness, what a fun website!


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