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Thailand – the hub of brilliant toilets

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Thailand – the hub of brilliant toilets

Thailand – the hub of brilliant toilets

By Gerry Carter

Pictures: Gerry Carter

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Some people critical of Thailand are constantly banging on about the country being “third world” without a hope of joining the club of developed nations any time soon.

But those spouting these weary and predictable condemnations have clearly never been in some of the restrooms at Bangkok’s upmarket and swanky department stores.

For these toilets are anything but third world and would put to shame the very best that Western nations could muster.

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In fact it would be no surprise to see the Tourism Authority of Thailand promoting the country as a center of sanitary and relief driven excellence in the near future.

Take for example the extraordinary restrooms now on every floor at the Central Westgate shopping center in Bang Yai, Bangkok.

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Approaching the lavatories it is immediately clear that this is going to be a memorable experience whether your business is number ones,number twos, whether you are male or female, young or old.

The first thing you are aware of as you approach is a suite of rooms for breastfeeding mothers. Inside it is luxurious with cushions and cubicles and places to change babies’ nappies. Few five star hotels or international airports would have anything like these facilities let alone shopping centers.

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Naturally there is a well-appointed toilet for the handicapped or infirm. Along with all the usual bars and trappings you would expect is an emergency button that calls an attendant in the event of trouble.

A flashing light outside warns that the occupant might be in difficulty.

While the roads in Thailand may be somewhat dangerous there is little danger in falling victim to an unexpected event in these surroundings.

The ladies and gents are spotlessly clean; as you enter a cleaning lady who is clearly immensely proud of her facilities utters a polite Thai greeting to all who have business there with offers of help should anyone need anything.

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Thailand – the hub of brilliant toilets
By Gerry Carter

Pictures: Gerry Carter

 

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BANGKOK: — Some people critical of Thailand are constantly banging on about the country being “third world” without a hope of joining the club of developed nations any time soon.
But those spouting these weary and predictable condemnations have clearly never been in some of the restrooms at Bangkok’s upmarket and swanky department stores.
For these toilets are anything but third world and would put to shame the very best that Western nations could muster.

 

3.JPG
In fact it would be no surprise to see the Tourism Authority of Thailand promoting the country as a center of sanitary and relief driven excellence in the near future.
Take for example the extraordinary restrooms now on every floor at the Central Westgate shopping center in Bang Yai, Bangkok.

 

7.JPG

 

Approaching the lavatories it is immediately clear that this is going to be a memorable experience whether your business is number ones,number twos, whether you are male or female, young or old.
The first thing you are aware of as you approach is a suite of rooms for breastfeeding mothers. Inside it is luxurious with cushions and cubicles and places to change babies’ nappies. Few five star hotels or international airports would have anything like these facilities let alone shopping centers.

 

1.JPG
Naturally there is a well-appointed toilet for the handicapped or infirm. Along with all the usual bars and trappings you would expect is an emergency button that calls an attendant in the event of trouble.
A flashing light outside warns that the occupant might be in difficulty.
While the roads in Thailand may be somewhat dangerous there is little danger in falling victim to an unexpected event in these surroundings.
The ladies and gents are spotlessly clean; as you enter a cleaning lady who is clearly immensely proud of her facilities utters a polite Thai greeting to all who have business there with offers of help should anyone need anything.

 

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Best of all for parents is a specially appointed area for young children with “Boy” and “Girl” sections. The urinals and bowls are low down as are the taps for that all important wash of the hands afterwards.

Any child would be thrilled to have their own place to “spend a baht” – it promotes independence and means children don’t have to go with parents to adult loos that can be problematical especially for fathers with girls.

But the very best thing about Central’s restrooms has to be the waiting area outside – while not wishing to be sexist in any way it is often men that have to mill around outside the ladies’ waiting for wives and girlfriends wondering why it is that they seem to be taking so long.

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Central have provided a cushioned suite of comfortable sofas outside the toilets for people to lounge on and perhaps do some internet surfing while they are waiting. Or, like the man in our picture, have a deep sleep with some shades on….

The only thing missing perhaps is a transgender toilet but it would not be surprising if that was in the pipeline.

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Central have clearly invested a great deal of thought and money into ensuring cleanliness and convenience for the public at this shopping center. And while it is the best this writer has seen in Thailand, facilities at similar places in the kingdom, while admittedly less swanky, are often spotless and excellent.

Many of Thailand’s restrooms would make the first world proud!

 

 

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