Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Hong Kong's Loo Culture
My basic rule of thumb is when I'm out and about, the number one choice is to use hotel bathrooms. And in Hong Kong, with a number of four and five-star hotels around the city, it's easy to ensure a clean, flushing experience.
Shopping malls and restaurants could be on the questionable side, but passable.
I was last in Hong Kong in May. But this time I noticed the bathrooms, particularly in restaurants and shopping malls are worth raving about.
They are very clean, on the verge of spotless to the naked eye. And in many of the stalls there are toilet seat covers and toilet seat cleaners (pictured left). As the diagrams suggest, grab some toilet paper, push the dispenser for this cleaning agent and then proceed to wipe the seat clean.
My relatives from Australia remarked about the cleanliness of the loos when we made a trip to one of them. I explained that after SARS the city is paranoid of catching the virus again and its citizens have become well educated on the need to have good hygiene.
If only this clean culture could be extended to their cousins on the mainland. Most of the toilets in Beijing -- even in high-class restaurants -- are squat. In some ways this can be cleaner, but not when someone using the toilet before you doesn't aim properly.
But a good start would be to get everyone to wash their hands after their business. Even if it's a number one.