There are two items I’d like to have taken home with me from Vietnam. One is my favourite masseuse, and the other is a Vietnam toilet. Well, to be more specific, a toilet such as those found in a city hotel, guesthouse or similar accommodation.
They’re a bit like a bidet really, but have a hose attached to the toilet with which to do you-know-what. (Illustrated above). Admittedly it takes a bit of practice to get everything aimed in the right direction, but after a few misses you manage to get it on cue.
Another type has not a hose, but a handle which causes the water to flush in just the right spots (this type is even more hygienic). In both cases you use the toilet paper (if there is any) to make a clean wipe therefore, and then drop it in the bucket alongside the toilet. (I don’t go anywhere without my roll of toilet paper when traveling in South East Asia, just in case).
Oh I know it’s all a bit personal but it’s one of those subjects that we all wonder about but no-one likes to ask, is it not? For me, knowing what the toilet facilities are like before venturing abroad is one of my priorities.
I remember my very first trip to France, (a long time ago), when I had to fill my car with gas at a roadside petrol station. My aim wasn’t so good, I wasn’t prepared and missed the hole-in-the-concrete. The rest of my journey was somewhat uncomfortable. But then, when I DID arrive at the first hotel I stayed at in France, I washed my feet in the thing next to the toilet, and I know I’m not the only one who’s ever done that. (My first introduction to a bidet. I love them so much I wouldn’t build a house without one now.)
The no-paper-down-the-toilet is a sensible idea, given the number of people living/working/touring the cities in Vietnam. The infrastructure simply can’t handle it! Perhaps it might end up in the river like so much of the waste in Vietnam. One local person in Ho Chi Minh City told me that 70,000 cubic metres of human waste is dumped into the Mekong River daily, along with 40,000 tons of rubbish. I don’t know how accurate that is, but don’t doubt that there’s a hang of a lot!
Anyone for swimming?
Tips for the traveler:
1. Don’t go anywhere without your toilet roll.
2. Always carry hand sanitiser
3. Click here for More Travel Tips