Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Toilets in Indonesia

There are some things I wish I knew before coming to Indonesia, so that I would have been better prepared.  Instead, I was confused and had to ask for help, which was an awkward situation in the ladies room.  I want to share this with you, so you'll be better prepared if you plan to visit.  Then, you won't be surprised and will know exactly what to do.

Although there are western toilets, there are also "squatting" type toilets.  These are common in many Asian countries.

Here's the bathroom from the guest room I had stayed at when I first arrived.  

I am familiar with the non-western toilets because of my experience in Japan, but I could not figure out how to flush the toilets in Indonesia and was confused by the large tub of water.  I also learned that you have to face a certain direction (the door) when using the toilet because if not, you won't have enough space.  You'll know what I mean when you get here!

Here's what you need to do to flush...
There's a large tub of water.  Use the bucket and scoop water to use for the toilet.  Pour the water into the toilet, so that it will flush.

If there's no faucet to wash your hands, you can use the bucket and pour water onto your hands to clean them.  I would recommend carrying hand sanitizer.

Carry tissue with you also because toilet paper isn't always available.  Many people use sprayer hoses to clean themselves, so there may not be toilet paper available.


  1. That's just like lots of places in mainlan China! You surely are right about bringing your own tissue paper!

  2. My boyfriend who lived on Lombok for a number of years described the toilets where you just spray to rinse yourself off, rather than use toilet paper. I can't picture then pulling my pants back up while I'm all wet. One of the things I'm concerned about if I go with him to Indonesia.

  3. John, do you have a large tub of water to flush the toilet too?

    Eleni, yes, it's true. Every bathroom has a sprayer next to it for people to clean themselves. I know what you mean though. My friend said they use tissue to dry off, but I don't know if everyone does. It's also important to not pass anything with your left hand because people use their left hand to clean themselves I learned.

  4. That kind of toilet usually is in the country side, not in the city.


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