Toilets take the spotlight amid Xinjiang’s tourism boom
Published: May 26, 2024 09:34 PM
Xinjiang outdoor toilet.

Xinjiang outdoor toilet. Photo: Sina News

Thanks to TV series "To the Wonder", the filming locations have become popular tourist destinations, driving tourism revenue in Xinjiang to exceed 400 million in just ten days. As more travel guides and reviews of scenic spots are being shared on social media, a significant number of "toilet reviews" are also gaining traction.

According to online comments, many toilet facilities in Altay, Xinjiang, and the surrounding areas fall short of tourists' expectations. Indeed in some remote regions, the condition of the toilets can be described as "primitive.", thus while young tourists admire the beautiful surroundings, they often have to deal with the inconvenience of inadequate restroom facilities. 

A netizen named @Beaver remarked, "I used the toilet with the worst privacy on the grassland. Even after squatting down, my head was still higher than the wall. I could only awkwardly exchange glances and smiles with my friend waiting a few meters away, while a sheep behind me was peeking over the wall."

Due to the vast territory of Xinjiang, the distances between major scenic spots are long and require long driving hours to be reached. There are usually no toilets near the highways that traverse the wilderness and pastures. As a result, many tourists opt to use the few available service area toilets, leading to long queues during peak seasons. Some netizens jokingly complained that during their eight-day trip, they had to hold it in for eight days, as they could never find a toilet when they needed one. In the sparsely populated Xinjiang, toilets temporarily become the most crowded places during the tourist season.

"We could hardly find a toilet along the way. We even used umbrellas as temporary toilets, with girls going to the left and boys to the right, solving the problem under the cover of umbrellas," shared a female netizen on social media.

More and more people are writing toilet reviews online these days, sharing their personal experiences to provide practical guidance for future visitors. These reviews include rankings of the best toilets, emphasizing cleanliness and odorlessness, as well as warnings about which toilets to avoid, covering aspects such as privacy, environment, fees, and cleaning frequency. The reviews also address the degree of privacy protection, mentioning issues like insufficient wall height or damage, which typically make users extremely uncomfortable.

Global Times