I loved Chang Beer, but I did not love the public restrooms in the dive bars of Khao San Road…
BYOTP is the rule rather than the exception in these places, and toilet seats are optional. Bangkok doesn’t have a great sewer system, so most restrooms have a bucket for the paper, and in one place, there was a bunch of garlic cloves in the paper bucket. Ew! How does that happen? Dirty toilet and garlic is a smell I won’t soon forget.
But, my favorite restroom experience in all of Thailand was the one where I was faced with a tankless toilet, a spigot, a bucket of water, a pot, and no flush lever. I didn’t give the situation much thought until I realized I had no clue what to do with this odd assortment of equipment. It was a tense time because the bathroom reeked, the paper bucket was overflowing, and there was a waiting line. I considered opening the door and asking advice, then it struck me that the only option was to pour water into the toilet by the pot full to flush it. Phew! Crisis averted :)
If you told me 2 years ago that I’d be eating my dinner with chopsticks on a curb, frequenting BYOTP places, and flushing with pots of water, I’d have called you a liar. But scary restrooms and all, I can’t wait to go back! That said, I’m grateful to be back in the world of plentiful multi-ply toilet paper, and dual flush toilets.