Thai Toilets – What’s with the bum gun?

One of the most baffling devices of culture shock that I have encountered thus far in Thailand would be the ‘bum gun’. It’s a small hose that is attached to every single toilet. I get that you’re supposed to use it on your private parts to tidy up, but I never quite understood the mechanics till now.

The process is easy, once you finish your business, you use the toilet hose to rinse off. The pressure of each hose varies so you want to give it a test shoot before shooting your private parts. If you’re a lady, you want to use a quick shoot to rinse from front to back. Men, just aim for your bum and give it a quick gentle squirt. Now here’s the part where I always got confused… Very few bathrooms in Thailand have toilet paper. So what do you do when you spray your bum and you’re sitting there all wet? Well, you have two options. 1. Pull your pants back up while still wet and air dry (not preferred), or 2. Carry your own toilet paper! This allows you to gently pat dry and be on your way feeling fresh as can be 🙂

To summarize, here are a few tips to keep in mind when visiting Thailand in regards to Thai Toilets:

1. Always carry your own toilet paper.

2. There usually aren’t any paper towels but rather an old rag that usually looks like it hasn’t been washed in a decade. Carry hand sanitizer if you’re worried about germs.

3. The bum gun is your friend. Give it a try, but only if you brought TP!

Happy bathroom adventures!

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5 comments on “Thai Toilets – What’s with the bum gun?

  1. Erin Elaine says:

    LOL!!! I love that you call it the bum gun. Cultural differences sure are fascinating.

    Bidets are very common in Spain, basically every private bathroom (in homes and apartments) has one. A lot of people don’t use them though, and they take up so much room in the tiny bathrooms!!

    That’s good that you’ve figured out to carry tp with you. There are some public bathrooms in Spain without tp every now and then, but for the most part they do have it.

    Thanks for the tip! I love that you posted something so quirky, but I’m sure SUPER useful to know ahead of time!!

    • elstadl says:

      I can’t lay claim to the term “bum gun.” I came across it when I was reading up on the etiquette on how to use them lol. I figured I needed to write something and get it up asap and this was the most recent thing that was culturally interesting that has happened to me :p

      I’ve never actually used a bidet but I will have to try it out when I get to Spain! 🙂

  2. Haha this is awesome. Waiting for your full post to load I was wondering if they had Western-style toilets…or pits/”squat” toilets like I ran into in Russia and Turkey (sometimes there’d be one stall with a Western toilet, but the lines would be craaazy long! Plus that’d end up being the gross stall anyways…).

    It’s always super interesting to learn about all those little things most people wouldn’t think to post about/look into beforehand!

    • elstadl says:

      I have yet to use the squat toilets. It can’t be that much different from squatting in the woods. Most that I have seen have the official porcelain squat toilet fixture. No big holes in the ground luckily 🙂 I’ve been practicing with the bum gun. It really does leave you with a nice clean feeling 🙂

  3. […] – Most restaurants seem to have western toilets, just remember to carry your own toilet paper. Hand sanitizer is recommended as there is rarely soap or paper towels. Any western style toilet you find will have a small hose attached to it. These are used for rinsing your nether regions. For more info, see my post titled Thai Toilets – What’s with the bum gun?. […]

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