Toilets in Vietnam: Insights into Squat Toilets, Public Bathrooms & Flushing Paper

Toilets in Vietnam, a subject no one asks about, but everyone needs to know. We answer common questions such as squatting toilets, is it possible to flush toilet paper, and the availability of Western-style toilets. Learn about the hose next to the toilet and find out what to expect from public restrooms in Vietnam, ensuring a better understanding of local bathroom practices.

Squat toilets in Vietnam

In the cities and places such as hotels, resorts, and restaurants, you will mostly find Western-style toilets. The government regulations and the focus on hygiene have encouraged the use of Western toilets. Even in most homestays, Western-style toilets are now available.

toilet in Vietnam

If you stick to the popular tourist areas and well-traveled routes, encountering squat toilets will be rare. You may come across them during bus stops or remote rest areas on long journeys, but Western toilets are generally the norm in these locations.

It’s always a good idea to be prepared with your own supplies when using public squat toilets. It is advisable to carry your own toilet paper and hand disinfectant when using public squat toilets in these places.

Squatting toilets in Vietnam are more common in remote and rural areas.

Public bathrooms in Vietnam

Public bathrooms in Vietnam can be more challenging for women compared to men. It is not uncommon to witness Vietnamese men urinating in public, which can contribute to the scarcity of public facilities. It’s important to note that in some cases, you may need to pay a small fee to access a public toilet.

For travelers in Vietnam it is the best and easiest to use the facilities in restaurants, cafes, hotels, and shopping malls. Restaurants are widespread throughout Vietnam, and it is often possible to find one nearby. Fortunately, ordering a drink at these establishments is often quite affordable, costing around a dollar or even less.

By relying on the facilities provided by restaurants and other establishments, you can have a more comfortable and convenient restroom experience while exploring Vietnam.

Flushing toilet paper in Vietnam

As is the case in (almost) all places in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, you cannot flush used toilet paper down the toilet. This is because many sewer systems in the region are unable to handle it, leading to potential blockages. Generally, if there is a trash bin next to the toilet, that is where the toilet paper should be disposed of. However, in some cases where there is no trash bin, it may be acceptable to flush the toilet paper.

toilet paper in Vietnam

The water hose next to the toilet

The water hose, commonly known as a “bum gun,” found next to the toilet in Vietnam, serves as an alternative to toilet paper for cleaning purposes. By aiming the nozzle at the desired areas of the body and pressing it, a refreshing spray of water is used for cleansing. Toilet paper is then typically used for drying off. The wet paper is disposed of in the trash can provided next to the toilet, making it a common sight in Vietnam. Using the water hose is generally considered a cleaner and more hygienic option compared to relying solely on toilet paper.

how to use the water hose or bum gun next to the toilet in Vietnam

Tips for using toilets in Vietnam

  • If you can’t find a public bathroom, consider going to a coffee shop or restaurant and ordering a coffee or soft drink for often less than a dollar, which usually grants you access to their restroom.
  • When going on a long bus trip with scheduled toilet breaks, it’s wise to carry some paper tissues and hand sanitizer with you for hygiene purposes during those restroom stops.
  • Embrace the “bum gun” experience. Though it may feel unfamiliar at first, many people find it to be a cleaner and more hygienic option. In fact, you might even start to prefer it and wish to have one in your own home.
  • Do not flus toilet paper, but use provided bins for disposing of used paper.

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