I arrived in Thailand thirteen years ago, so I have some knowledge of the subject of Thai W.C.’s, but I have also had to guess some aspects of this article, as you will see.
When I got here in the village, the overwhelming majority of W.C.’s in the village, consisted of a French-style hole in the ground and a 4x2x4 foot concrete receptacle for water, which was usually fed with a dripping tap. The container is insurance against the water being cut off, but the water also assumes the ambient temperature, and loses much of the chlorine in it.
Our water supply was always cut between nine a.m. and one, and often between midnight and five, which is when farmers get up.
We installed a modern Western bathroom in our house with a thousand litre fully enclosed resin tank outside. On the face of it, our expensive solution was much better, but we needed a pump, so had no water when the electricity was cut. There is a reason for the old ways, and it is not always a lack of money. Furthermore, the flow from the dripping tap is too weak to activate the water meters, so most people get free water. I do not 🙂 as our tank fills like a toilet cistern in short sharp bursts.
Over the last ten years, most houses have been upgraded in our village, and our style is now most prevalent, although with a vestige of tradition.
Many modern Thai bathrooms are fed by an external tank and pump, but also have the concrete receptacle. Now, that we have a granddaughter, her mother has placed a large bowl full of water in the W.C. to make up for the missing concrete one.
Thais have their own unique method of hygiene in the toilet, which deserves a mention. They use paper, like the Brits, and wash themselves lime the French, but they don’t use a bidet; they use a small showerhead attached to the cistern, and use paper to dry themselves. It is extremely effective and efficient.
One last thing. Our bowl is about nine inches high, and there was a tiny frog sitting on the rim today contemplating a swim (I assume), whereas Thais’ bunkers are four feet high so that not many animals can get into them.
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Podcast: Thai W.C.’s