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Toilets from around the world

It's the time of year we've all been waiting for – World Toilet Day! Loos are one of the few things you're guaranteed to encounter on your travels, wherever in the world you go.

Wiping the toilet humour before we get started – World Toilet Day is for raising awareness of the sanitation poverty that affects 3.6 billion people. Bad sanitation can lead to countless health problems and pollution, and it's the mission of World Toilet Day to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030.

Toilette roulette: France

Frequent visitors to France will be well-versed with the 'toilet roulette' one has to partake in, whenever nature calls in public place. In Southern parts in particular you may encounter the 'hole in the ground' style toilet that so many British tourists dread, while the majority will look much like the standard loos we use back home, often with the added luxury of a bidet.

Other 'toilette' types you might find in French towns and cities include the iconic space-age-style portaloo that costs a handful of Euros to use, and always seems to be 'hors service', and gentlemen will be familiar with the basic and often rather public 'pissoir' that is often to be found in the street.

France Travel Guide

There are countless reasons why France consistently ranks as the most visited country in the world. Here's everything you need to know before you travel.

High-tech toilets: Japan

Never a nation to shy away from technology, Japan is a country that takes its lavatories very seriously, and some of the high-tech toilets you'll find here are probably more sophisticated than most appliances in your kitchen back home.

With controls provided for everything from a cleansing 'bidet spray' to your own preferred flushing sound-effect and seat temperature, this is one bathroom visit you are unlikely to forget. Some particularly smart toilets in Japan have even been developed with diagnostic tools to assess your health based on your own deposits...

Tokyo Travel Guide

Find out everything you need to know about the Japanese capital with our travel guide.

Don't look down: Papua New Guinea, India, Siberia

Papua New Guinea is one of many remote destinations where toilet architecture can get interesting, with a tendency towards towering 'long drops' that sit on bamboo stilts. You can take a look at a particularly inventive example, complete with its own tidal flushing system, below. Other countries where you might encounter this particular style of 'loo with view' include India (remember that scene in Slumdog Millionaire?), and the clifftop extremes of Siberia.

If you've ever been to a British music festival, you'll of course be quite familiar (if not altogether comfortable) with this high-rise style of sanitation station.

Clifftop toilet

The inspection shelf: Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark

Another toilet-type perhaps deserving of the header 'don't look down' is the "shelf" style loo most commonly found in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark. The design of this toilet encourages the user to inspect their own droppings before flushing them away. There is no other purpose beyond facilitating this curious act, and the design does not save any water when compared with an average model.

Germany Travel Guide

Germany is a country full of history and culture and whether you're enjoying the nightlife in the cities, celebrating Oktoberfest or skiing in the Alps, you're guaranteed a great trip.