WARNING: this post might make you feel uncomfortable / don’t read if you just ate

One of the biggest pet peeves I have is going to toilets with poor sanitation, and by poor I mean foul-smelling, wet floors, unflushed businesses, and no toilet papers/soaps. Eeeeeeeeek – I don’t even want to think about it! I don’t mind filthy public places like street markets and roads, but when it comes to personal spaces such as the bed and toilets, I take the level of hygiene seriously. (I think I have selective OCD)

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So I’m sure most travellers who have been to China know how bad their toilets are, and being a Chinese myself, I’m quite ashamed of that. Sigh. Rural areas aside, even big cities like Shanghai don’t quite meet the proper sanitation standard. Reason? The basic facilities are still the old ones that were never replaced. That is why the toilets of newly renovated malls sometimes still look old and lousy, where you have to throw used toilet papers into the bin (as if meant only for sanitary pads for ladies) instead of the toilet bowl itself. This is because the old pipes are tiny and the toilet papers they have aren’t exactly water soluble so if people were to throw the toilet papers into the toilet bowls after every business, the pipes would clog up. Long story short: I always feel defeated whenever I enter a bad toilet but I couldn’t wait longer to find another decent toilet.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long long time but I’ve always hesitated because that’s just reminding people of the fact that well, Shanghai (or China in general) is still very lacking in this area. Or maybe it’s just me, because I’m particular about toilets. But on hindsight, everyone would rather to do their business in peace and comfort, no? So anyway, if you don’t want to hold your breath and have to do your toilet business in the quickest time possible, here’s a list of the toilets ranked from 5th to 1st that you would enjoy (for a lack of a better word) while cruising around Shanghai:

5. TAKASHIMAYA

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Takashimaya Department Store from Japan, commonly abbreviated to Taka in Singapore, made the list because hooray, they live up to the Japanese toilet standards! (Not applicable to Singapore’s though, sadly) The toilet was quite dark when I went there at night, nevertheless it was posh and clean which I really like. However, unlike the Takashimaya in many other cities, the one is Shanghai is slightly out of place and not in the CBD area. But in case you’re in the area, you know where to go to answer nature’s call! 😉

Address: 1438 Hongqiao Road, Changning, Shanghai, China

4. NEW WORLD DAIMARU 

Longest Spiral Escalator in the World

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The latest mall added to the famous East Nanjing Rd area – you can’t miss this because it’s also home to the longest spiral escalator in the world (pictured above), which you should totally check out. The toilet was also pretty clean and decent, but my only complain is that they don’t provide hand soap, and I wonder why. Oh, another OCD habit of mine is always always wash my hands with soap after using the toilet if not I’d feel so disgusted. #justsayin’ Anyhow, I’d still go back to this toilet when I’m in the area because it beats those 2 malls just opposite it hands down.

Address: 228 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Henan Zhong Lu, Huangpu district

3. K11

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K11 has been my favourite mall in Shanghai for a few years now ever since I discovered it when it just opened. Located in the XinTianDi area just above Huang Pi Nan Lu Station, this mall stood out as a mall that promotes the arts scene. There’s art installations around the mall, and has a free art gallery that changes regularly in their basement for shoppers to check out. There will sometimes be paid ones (usually extensive art exhibitions) which you can pay to visit if you want to. And finally, it has nice smelling and squeaky clean toilets which I really like. *_*

Address: 300 Huaihai Middle Road, Lu Wan District, Shanghai, China

2. iAPM

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I also discovered this mall recently when I was doing the French Concession walking tour. The toilet (and the mall too) was so reflective that I wonder if people could see underneath my skirt. Hah! I was so happy with the toilet that I went up to the cleaning lady and exclaimed “this toilet is so clean!” in Mandarin and she was so elated after that and said thank you so many times. (+point for making someone else’s day!) The mall itself also resembled a lot like Ion Orchard in Singapore, which I also love.

Address: 999 Huaihai Middle Road, Xuhui, Shanghai, China

1. IFC SHANGHAI

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THE BEST OF THE LOT. Or I should quote this other traveller’s review: “best toilets in all of China”. While I couldn’t find the photos I took of the toilet other than my toilet selfie (oops) which serves no purpose in illustrating how beautiful the toilet is, I’ll try my best to describe it:

Beautiful and nicely scented toilets in the entire mall, which gets better with every level higher. Head to level 4 for the best experience, with each cubicle resembling a hotel toilet with its own sink and towels. 

Sadly, I couldn’t find any decent photo of it online – because I guess no one really take photos of toilets other than toilet selfies. Therefore, head there yourself to check it out!

That’s it for the list! There may be more which I haven’t been, and there are some which I didn’t list because they’re public but not places travellers would go to, so this list may be quite limited. But these are the few toilets that I actually really liked and would try to pass by if I’m in the area just so I can pee in comfort.

Now on to you! Did any of you have any really nice toilet recommendations around the world? 🙂

keep travelling,
J