Going Down the Drain: Party releases list of Hong Kong’s worst public toilets

If you live in either Tsuen Wan, Happy Valley, Aberdeen, or Sham Shui Po, then there’s a good chance that the public toilet in your area has gone to shit — quite literally, perhaps, according to a new survey conducted by a pro-establishment political party.

HK01 reports that the study was carried out by the political party the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), and the results were announced at a press conference yesterday.

The survey was carried out by DAB volunteers who visited 67 public toilets managed by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) across the city in January and February.

Toilets were evaluated on a number of criteria, including whether they were clean, sufficiently ventilated, smelly, and regularly stocked with toilet paper and soap.

DAB district councillor for Sham Shui Po Lau Pui-yuk said the most common things volunteers found were dirty floors and toilets, and foul odors, as well as broken doors and inoperable toilet flushes.

HK01’s video report, meanwhile, includes a visit to random toilet in Tsuen Wan that found standing water on the floor from a running hose and an unflushed toilet. A sign noted — somewhat unhelpfully for anyone in need of the facilities — that repairs were planned.

In no particular order, the DAB’s survey found that the worst male and female toilets were:

Worst male toilets
Aberdeen Promenade public toilet, Aberdeen
Tak Wah Park public toilet, Tsuen Wan
Heung Che Street public toilet, Tsuen Wan
Sing Woo Road public toilet, Happy Valley
Tat Tung Road public toilet, Tung Chung
Yen Chow Street public toilet, Sham Shui Po
Pei Ho Street Market and Cooked Food Centre public toilet, Sham Shui Po
Lei Yue Mun (Ling Nam Sun Tsuen village) public toilet, Kwun Tong
Hong King Street public toilet, Yuen Long
Smithfield Municipal Services Building’s cooked food centre public toilet, Sai Wan

Worst female toilets
Aberdeen Promenade public toilet, Aberdeen
Heung Che Street public toilet, Tsuen Wan
Sing Woo Road public toilet, Happy Valley
Tat Tung Road public toilet, Tung Chung
Yen Chow Street public toilet, Sham Shui Po
Pei Ho Street Market and Cooked Food Centre public toilet, Sham Shui Po
Chai Wan Kok Street public toilet, Tsuen Wan
Tseung Kwan O Public Transport Interchange public toilet, Tseung Kwan O
Nga Tsin Wai Village public toilet, Wong Tai Sin

The survey comes after it was reported that the government is planning on setting aside HK$500 million (about US$63.7 million) to revamp the city’s 200 public toilets. Most of these toilets are managed by FEHD, though some are managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).

According to the SCMP, campaigners for better toilets have urged the authorities to look to Singapore for inspiration on public toilet maintenance.

Suggestions have included paying cleaners better, stepping up maintenance and public education efforts, allowing contractors to bid to repair the toilets instead of going through the Architectural Services Department, and even allowing Hongkongers to rate toilets on cleanliness as a way of forcing the authorities to improve them.

Indeed, there may be something to be said for active public input on the active public’s, ahem, output. As our sister site Coconuts Singapore reported, the Singapore Restroom Association has been handing out stars for the best public toilets since 2014.

The Lion City’s swankiest public whiz palace, per the association’s ratings, has sensors that monitor ammonia in the air and automatically alert cleaning staff when odor levels reach a certain threshold.

To be fair, it’s in a mall, but still; sure beats the hell out of this shit-hole.

A public latrine in Tung Tau Tsuen, in the New Territories. Photo via Wiki Commons/Wrightbus.
A public latrine in Tung Tau Tsuen, in the New Territories. Photo via Wiki Commons/Wrightbus.

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