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Saturday, 23 June 2007

Presenting: Seoul Best Toilet, December 18, 2003

After an interesting Saturday, we ended up at Sizzler in Hyehwa for dinner. You might remember how I conquered Sizzler the last time here. Well, today I was going to post pictures of my food for you to enjoy, but this time I opted to keep the camera at bay while I stuffed myself silly.

What I will present today is the "Seoul Best Toilet, 2003.12.18" for your viewing pleasure. You can find theses special little gems littered throughout the city--washrooms that have won the prestigious "Seoul Best Toilet" award. This has been the second award-winning restroom I have seen in Seoul, the other being at a park in Mokdong (its standards had dropped after winning the award I must say). How can you tell a "Seoul Best Toilet" winner versus a regular toilet? Well, for starters there is a monstrous plaque plastered to the wall near the restroom doors.

After taking that first step into a "Seoul Best Toilet", you tend to reminisce about all the other horrible washrooms you've encountered and embrace everything this restroom has to offer: the smells, the cleanliness, the paper towel dispenser, and the shock and awe of the thought that you are taking a step back in time, imagining yourself as the person who nominated this washroom as a "Seoul Best Toilet" candidate.

This washroom had a nice modern look, and included mouthwash (most fine establishments include mouthwash and hand lotion). Check out the cool sink (what have I come to? I'm not blogging about washrooms!!) I've experience lots of "unique" washrooms with my travels abroad. Some restrooms in China can be holes in the ground. I experienced my first squat toilet in downtown Macau (note to self: bring tissue):

As for our meal at Sizzler, the salad bar costs roughly 20,000w, but for 3000w more, you can order a full chicken dinner which includes the salad bar. So for 3000w more, we now have lunch for tomorrow. :)

By the way, if you did not know already, Sizzler is a "Restaurant within a Restaurant"...what does that mean exactly?

Do you have any interesting or memorable washroom experiences you'd like to share? Now this is what you call a conversation topic over dinner or coffee, LOL!


Anonymous said...

Once I had to go to a washroom after eating at a restaurant at a mall in Bangkok. The mall was pretty modern, and had western brand name stores, so I figured the washrooms would be what I'd expect in North America. When I got to the washroom, I went to a stall and found out it was a squatter, with no toilet paper. So I looked around until I found a tissue dispenser outside the bathroom. I had spare change, but not exactly the coins that the machine accepted (5 1 baht coins). So I had to go buy something from the pharamcy nearby to get some coins. I went back, had to wait for someone who was now at standing in front of the machine (talking their sweet time, of course), and I finally got to get a box of tissues. The box was about as big as a matchbook, with barely enough tissue to wipe a grasshopper's ass. Of course I didn't have enough of the exact change to get more, so I just had to deal with it since I had to go pretty badly by that point. I went into the bathroom, and had to wait for a stall this time since they were all taken. I finally got to go, and when I went to wash my hands, I found that there were sinks but no soap dispensers! Are we supposed to bring our own soap too? Anyhow, I had to go to the pharmacy to get some hand cleanser and wash off. Of course, there were no hand dryers either so I had to use my jeans.

So if you ever want to go to the washroom in Thailand, bring along your own tissue paper and hand cleanser, and maybe even your own toilet.

Gary said...

LOL!! Nice story...yeah, things work a little different in most parts of Asia--especially the toilets! In Hong Kong when I was there...I always carried tissues with me as even some restaurants don't provide you with napkins.

Maybe next time people should invest in adult diapers in Thailand. Although I didn't have a problem when I was in Phuket!

Leo said...

"Restaurant within a Restaurant" . . . man, that is profound! I'm gonna be up all night trying to decipher that one ;)

Anonymous said...

I have an interesting washroom experience, but I'm not going to share it. Sorry.

(Come to think of it, I've had two or three interesting washroom experiences.)

Anonymous said...

I was in Seoul City Tower today and saw the following sign:


[Of course this is just because elevator is next to the toilet - still, sounds like fun..]

Seoul is amazingly clean and a pleasure to be in (except for that smell around Doksan).

Anonymous said...

Wow - I have to keep my eye out for those plaques. :)

So far my restroom experiences in Korea haven't been as awful as I thought they could be.

I wrote about my Suwon toilet experience over at my blog.

hirocakep said...

my memorial toilet was in Tokyo, Japan for 20 years ago. when i was leaking suddenly urinal was sawing with stupid song. i have to follow it, left, right, left, right.. i was young so i could follow but now.. i don't know. :p

Gary said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. It sounds like all have our favorite washroom stories to share--Iceberg, spill the beans already!! ;)

Liz Remus said...

My first toilet experience in Korea was on the way to a relatives house from the airport. We stopped at a rest stop area and the there had to have been a hundred stalls stuffed in the bathroom. On the way to finding an open one a door open that had a mom and a kid inside and the little girl was squatting on the floor! My mom told me they didn't have those types anymore! I eventually found an open stall and it was western style! Thank god! But when I sat down, the toilet seat was warm!!! And I could spray my tush with warm water!! I couldn't tell if my excitement was real or delusion due to traveling for over 36 hours.

Anonymous said...

I actually live in Korea and most restrooms here are pretty clean. But some really stink so sometimes I just wait until I get to the next CLEAN restroom. At school, the restrooms really stink so I try not to drink too much water so I won't have to go often. As for the airport restrooms, I know the one at the Incheon Int. Airport-the one next to the baggage claim-almost by heart and it's really clean.

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