Question: What do Larch Street in Tai Kok Tsui, Canal Road in Wan Chai, and the Tsim Sha Tsui public transport interchange all have in common?
Answer: They’re all home to some of the most pristine public crappers in the city.
This was the finding of the heroes over at the Hong Kong Toilet Association, an organization set up in 2005 as a bridge between the government and the public to promote healthy, accessible, and safe environments for people to do their business.
According to RTHK, the HKTA spent the past year inspecting all the public toilets across Hong Kong, ranking them on a number of criteria including odor, cleanliness, floor slipperiness, toilet functionality, and so on.
The HKTA bestowed the honor of best public toilets on the Tsim Sha Tsui public transport interchange bathrooms, praising not only their sanitary conditions, but also their soothing music and regular alerts in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English reminding people to keep the bathrooms clean. Nice.
The Hong Kong Economic Journal reports that Larch Street and Canal Road were given silver and bronze awards, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, the public toilets on Pei Ho Street in Sham Shui Po were deemed the worst in the city. (Pei Ho Street, it would seem, is a perennial offender.)
As the HKTA noted, there’s still a lot of work to be done to get all the city’s facilities shitshape — sorry, shipshape. Shipshape is what we meant.
Last year, the authorities earmarked HK$600 million (almost US$77 million) to refurbish the cities’ 240 public toilets, but so far only 48 of them had been renovated.
But that wasn’t the only toilet news to set chins wagging today.
As anyone who’s been to a public toilet anywhere knows, the queue for the ladies’ room is always way too long. But the HKTA says they may have found a solution: the female urinal, ostensibly designed to save space so more toilets can be packed into existing bathrooms.
Hong Kong Toilet Association has urged #HK government and private malls to bring in female urinal – as a way to save space and slash long waiting time for the ladies. Here’s the association’s Peggy Tsui explaining: pic.twitter.com/RupKzAeySf
— Candice (@rthkcandice) December 5, 2019
While female urinals aren’t new, and have been spotted in music festivals like Glastonbury and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, they’re not a common sight in Hong Kong, and reactions to the proposal were, well, mixed.
Don’t get us wrong, HKTA, we appreciate all the good work you’re doing out there. But, y’know, maybe just stick to the toilet ranking and cleanliness advocacy stuff, huh?