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The weird and wacky toilets of the world – Even a Melbourne plumber would be amazed

It’s the one place in the home we rely upon the most yet take for granted. We use toilets on a regular basis, however, it is only when we need a plumber, or travel away from Melbourne that we begin to appreciate the humble loo. For many first time travellers, it can be a surprising and sometimes confronting moment when you come across an international toilet. Many of us expect to travel across the world and see a familiar toilet equipped with a rim, seat, flusher, and of course toilet paper. Reality is though; there are very few countries in the world that share the same toilet as us.

There are many factors that influence the design of foreign toilets that many Melbourians would never consider. While we in Melbourne are blessed with running water and an abundance of paper product, many counties do not have this liberty. Furthermore, understanding of hygiene and cultural traditions make toilets from country to country differ. Below is an outline of the different toilets you can encounter across the world.

American Toilets

When visiting America, you can breath a sigh of relief because the toilets areessentially exactly the same as the ones we find in Melbourne. The western style toilets we are familiar with are white and porcelain. They rise about 40 centimeters off the ground and have a rim, set and of course a flush. Just like in Melbourne, you will find toilet paper provided for free.


The western style toilets have been in existence since the 1880s, when Thomas Crapper made the water closet popular. While we find them completely normal, those not from the west don’t find them very hygienic. Travellers from outside of the west don’t like have to sit their bare backsides on a rim or seat that has been used by coutless other people.

Chinese Toilets

Chinese toilets are not for the faint hearted. If you like your privacy then you will have to stay close to your hotel. While you will find western style toilets in most upmarket hotels, on the streets of China you will not be as lucky. When you enter many public toilets in China the sight will most likely shock you. The majority of toilets do not have doors and furthermore they sometimes even don’t have partitions. They are also squat style, so you better have done some gym sessions beforehand to ensure your thighs are up for the work out. For the locals, the communal style toilet is very normal and you’ll observe them often chatting with others whilst they use the lavatory. With their trousers down around their ankles they squat and go about their business without a care in the world.

Japanese Toilets

When you visit bathrooms in Japan, the high tech toilet that awaits you will intrigue you. While on first glance it looks very similar to an average western toilet, on closer inspection you will notice it is very different. With a control panel featuring various options, you will experience a toilet trip like never before. The toilet called a washlet now is used in 72 per cent of Japanese households and is topping the list of toilets in first world nations. The toilet has some amazing features that will take some time to get used to including seat warming, massage options, blow dryer, wireless control panel, anus watching and automatic lid opening. 

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