Going to the toilet in Viet Nam can be challenging, although few travellers will encounter a traditional Vietnamese toilet like this one.
Whatever the situation, it can be useful to bring your own toilet paper, hand sanitiser and wet wipes. Oh, and always carry a little bit of cash, in case there is a toilet custodian nearby, as you’ll need to tip them upon exit.
Many places, like restaurants have western style toilets, but often the seat is missing, because people tend to stand on the seat and squat, destroying the seat. Even if the seat is attached, often the toilet doesn’t flush and all you have is a jet of water to clean up with. Some are Asian style and are set in the ground, which much like the latter scenario still means you have to tread carefully with a constantly wet floor.
Having encountered many toilets during my travels in Viet Nam, I can understand why although some Vietnamese have modern toilets in their homes now, they prefer a little quiet time outside on a traditional toilet like the one pictured above, or in the case of beach side dwellers, they wait until dusk forms and head down to the beach to do their business. In fact, the latter can reportedly be quite social, with friends and relatives catching up at the same time, and by the time morning has come, all evidence of this ritual is swept away with the tides.
What are your experiences with Vietnamese toilets?