Photo Friday: Toilet Signs Of Japan, Sydney & Bangkok

That Japanese toilet may look standard, but it’s far from it. It heats your bum up when you’re cold and plays music to drown out the sound of your shit dropping. Genius!

This past winter, I traveled for two months in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and a short stopover in Bangkok.

Japan and Bangkok had creative signs, while the places I visited in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines were less entertaining.


Selfies 4 Eva


I sense a lot of pink in these Japanese toilets. Tough on the gender roles, maybe?

*Bonus from Japan*

How to use a toilet:




The Customs House in Sydney





Love toilet signs as much as I do? Don’t miss pictures of toilet signs taken in the Australian outback, Southeast Asia and the Camino de Santiago.

Featured photo: Toilets in the Oslo, Norway airport. Can you feel the sleekness? 


Photo Friday: Toilet Signs Of The Outback: Stuart Highway

Toilets in the outback were few and far between. After all, often buildings and people were few and far between. When they did come along, though, the toilets signs we saw had personality. With the exception of bathrooms around Uluru, the figures on the toilet signs were of white Australians, playing off of the ‘sheilas’ and ‘blokes’ theme. Maybe it was the image of the rough and tough outback explorer that sold well to the tourists, or maybe it was a deliberate political decision to ignore the original residents of those areas.

In northern Queensland, the toilet signs were typical.

Heading towards Alice Springs and Uluru, they began to gain more character.


Going north towards Darwin, the toilet signs were more tourist-oriented.



Interesting in other toilet signs? Check out toilet signs of Southeast Asia and the Camino de Santiago

Interested in other stories of the outback? Read about the best roadside pub barman, naughty signs in the outback, and how Erin escaped from the job from hell

Featured photo: toilet sign at Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock.

World Toilet Day: Bathroom Signs Of Southeast Asia

Maybe you’ve noticed I love talking about toilets. Spending most of my life in them, the time I am in them has become somewhat of a ritual. I appreciate their decorations, and more than anything I love a creative toilet sign. I am very grateful to have always had access to toilets, clean water, and education surrounding sanitation. Not all around the world are so lucky. In fact, over 2.4 billion people don’t have access to toilets or latrines. It is a human right to have access to sanitation and clean water, yet billions still don’t.

If International Women’s Day (March 8th) is my favorite day of the year, then my second favorite day is November 19, World Toilet Day.

World Toilet Day is a United Nations sponsored day in recognition of the importance of sanitation and hygiene. Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all.” According to the U.N., “At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated.” This is due to lack of toilets, where contaminated wastewater is poured into water supplies and used for many things, including drinking and irrigation of crops. Over 1,000 children die daily due water and sanitation related diseases. Thus, there is a great necessity for World Toilet Day.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the U.N. reports that women and girls suffer even more. Lack of toilets means lack of privacy – and this puts them at risk for rape and abuse. I see a clear connection between the goals of International Women’s Day and World Toilet Day.

The United Nations encourages people to participate using the hashtag #wecantwait and to reflect on the relationship between clean water and nutrition.

To celebrate this day, I bring you photos of some of the best toilet signs I’ve seen during my current backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. Have you seen any great toilet signs? I love to see them- so if you come across any no matter where you are in the world, tweet them at me! (@yasminesoyyo)

Enjoy the photos, spread the word on World Toilet Day, and say #wecantwait for proper sanitation for all!


Thaim Out Bar, Koh Lanta, Thailand


Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Vang Vieng, Laos


Rest stop outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand


Rest stop between Pai and Chiang Mai, Thailand


Khao Sew Restaurant, Koh Lanta, Thailand


I.d. Bar in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


Bar in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


Envoy Hostel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


In a mall in northern Thailand


Sister Srey Cafe, Siem Reap, Cambodia


Non La Mer Hostal, Koh Lanta, Thailand


El Camino De Santiago: Favorite Bathroom Signs: A Photo Story

As someone with an undeniably small bladder, I am the butt of jokes, the object of surprise, and the point of concern for people who are convinced I am over-hydrated, have an over-active bladder, or even diabetes.

As far as I’m concerned none of the above are issues. It’s just who I am.

That being said, my bladder issues mean that I see my fair share of bathrooms. Actually, I’ve probably spent most of my life either waiting for a bathroom, in a bathroom, or thinking about either of those.

That’s why I’ve learned to appreciate the minute details about them. A lavender soap, soft toilet paper, aesthetically-pleasing vintage wallpaper, and even the caliber of entertainment the books often on a table nearby the toilet provide are all points of appreciation.

While walking the camino, I would choose to do my business outside as much as possible (check out an upcoming post for more information), but if I was forced to use the toilet, or the  institutionalization of urination, I was pleasantly surprised to find very creative signs indicating the bathrooms (They were gender normative, but we can’t win them all).

bathroom sign
Men’s bathroom sign in the municipal albergue in Finisterre, Spain.
bathroom sign
Women’s restroom sign in the municipal albergue in Finisterre, Spain.
Male and Female bathroom signs in a bar in Galicia.
Male and Female bathroom signs in a bar in Galicia.
Men's restroom sign in a bar in Galicia.
Men’s restroom sign in a bar in Galicia.
bathroom sign
Women’s restroom sign at a bar in Galicia.
bathroom sign spain
“I’m a powerful career woman of the 80s. Now watch me go to the bathroom.”
Seen in Castilla y Leon, Spain.

These signs provided the entertainment and enjoyment as I was waiting for the bathroom. They have also inspired me to continue to be looking for creative signs and humorous depictions of our moments on the toilet.

Where have you seen the best bathroom signs? Tweet at me @yasminesoyyo!