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Bathrooms, being where some people spend much of their time, definitely deserve mentioning, especially when they vary greatly in aroma and conditions in Hong Kong.

When it comes to hygiene and cleanliness, the award has to go to ones in large hotels. Not only are the public bathrooms there stocked with the necessary supplies and the whole place filled with a pleasant sanitary aroma, there is an attendant posted to attend to your needs - well, I mean just handing you the towel after you wash your hands and maybe even turning on the faucet for you. Nicer malls have them too, but they just do the cleaning. Some malls also have facilities for diaper changing, but it's self-service - for the parents, that is.

When it comes to the award for adventure, it goes to bathrooms of little mom and pop restaurants e.g. "tea restaurants". Efficient use of space is their strong suit: sometimes they - the bathrooms - also serve as an extension of their storage facilities. Most likely you will reach there after dancing through a narrow walkway through supplies and dirty dishes next to the kitchen. Inside you will find wet floors, broken faucet, and, sometimes, unflushed and unflushable commodes. Need I say more? Just be sure to check for TP before you get down to serious business!

squat toilet in Botanical Garden
A clean squat commode found in the Botanical Garden.

a runaway commodeabandoned commode
A somewhat used commode somehow sitting on the street-side

A homeless commode

When it comes to style, some are actually worth visiting. One of such was in a restaurant in Times Square (Causeway Bay). The restaurant's theme of decor is old China, and they even extended that to the china and the restrooms - very clean restrooms, I might add.

When it comes to the lack of them, the MTR (subway) wins the award. Probably other than the government, they serve the most clients since they transport 2 or 3 million people daily. However, much of their facilities provide no bathroom facilities for passengers, not at the stations, and certainly not on the trains. But the Hong Kong people must be commended for not finding a quick relief in some hidden stairway inside the stations.

Oh, one more thing: some bathrooms in Hong Kong only have squat style commodes - e.g. those in small tea restaurants! People say that it actually is healthier - more helpful for the moving experience.


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