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Tissue is not always available in public restrooms – but if it is, you will probably find it in a dispenser on the restroom wall and must be obtained before entering a stall as it will probably NOT be available in the stall. It is a good idea to always have your own supply with you just in case. You can buy mini-rolls for travel in most drugstores or grab some from your hotel room and place in a zip-lock bag in your pocket or purse – easy to re-supply throughout the tour.

Also, you will normally see a waste basket next to the commode in these public restrooms for disposal of bathroom tissue. Please use the basket whenever possible instead of flushing the tissue down as their sewer system is often not up to our standards yet and it can overflow and embarrass you if we don’t cooperate.

Most (not all) public restrooms now have two sets of bathroom stalls – Western style is to one direction and Eastern style (the infamous “squat” version) is to the other side. If you don’t like what you see, check around the restroom for an alternate style. Sometimes, there will be only one Western-style stall … and a long line of Westerners waiting.

Magellans does sell disposable devices for women that claim to make it possible for female non-squatters (us older gals?) to use the Eastern toilets if we should ever encounter that as our only choice or not want to wait in the long line for the Western version. I have never tried this nor have I ever had to use an Eastern toilet in all the years we have been going to China – that should give you gals great hope.

When you’re out and about on your own (especially on your “Free Day” in Beijing on the last full day you are in China), a handy tip for finding the best of the bathrooms is to look for a nice hotel and head on in like you are a guest there. You will find public restrooms on the main floor down a hall, or past the block of elevators, or towards the back past the lobby. Just act like you know what you are doing – I do that all the time .... just ask anyone who knows me. &;-)


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This page last updated February 12, 2010