Monday, March 23, 2009

Time for Action!

Good day everybody. Since some of our toilet evaluations could unfortunately not score with many points, we decided to send letters so that the managment will hopefully take some action to improve the cleanliness or general state of the toilets.

First, we sent a letter to Komtar (see evaluation here).
This is the letter:


Prangin Mall JMB – MPPP/COB/JMB-104/2008
Level 5, Prangin Mall
No 33, Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong
10100 Penang

Dear Mr. Heng Ah Leak,

We are writing to you concerning the state of toilets in Prangin Mall.

We are students at Universiti Sains Malaysia and running the initiative ‘World of Toilets’ which evaluates toilets in public and commercial buildings throughout mainly Penang, and also wider Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Our blog can be found at

This project is under the advisory of CP-TAG USM (Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy Transdisciplinary Action Group of Universiti Sains Malaysia), chairperson Dr. Reevany Bustami.

We are writing to you as compared to other public toilets we feel that the state of toilets in Prangin Mall are not satisfactory at all. Our evaluations found the toilets to be wet and/or not clean, despite charging money which according to our information serves as extra revenue for additional work (cleaning) and maintenance for the toilets.

We would like to urge you that clean and comfortable toilets are not only vital to health but also well-being of people, which makes visitor want to come more often. Especially if visitors have to pay to enter toilets, clean toilets should be a given.

The toilet evaluation of Prangin Mall can be found here:

Please note that compared to other evaluations throughout Penang and Malaysia, Prangin Mall has been evaluated as one of the worst toilets.

Other evaluations as well as research regarding public toilets and further information:

We will appreciate any response or immediate action very much.
Kind regards,
Anja Heise, Emma Kuronen, Dennis Keller

Friday, March 20, 2009

Toilet evaluation "The Mall" Kuala Lumpur

This is en evaluation of the women´s toilet at the Shopping Mall "The Mall" (what a name) in Kuala Lumpur. It´s located near the LRT Station PWTC. It´s an average toilet. Not perfectly clean but ok. The only thing that makes it interesting is, that they have installed an automat where you can buy tissues and also sanitary napkins. Good Idea! Don´t you think?
  • Costs? 30 Cent
  • Tissues? available in automat (20 Cent)
  • Cleanliness? 3 of 5 Stars
  • Type? western & asian
  • Toilet shower? no
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • Hand drying? automat

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Toilet on Krabi

This cutie pie is located on East Rai Leh Beach in Krabi, Thailand. Most of the toilets on the beach are pretty much like this one. Not precisely a pleasure but just enough to do your duties. There was no sink, only this bidet (= hose and bucket) to wash yourself. But it was enjoyable to sit on the pot and watch the colours and patterns on the wall!
  • Costs? free
  • Tissues? no
  • Cleanliness? 2 of 5 Stars
  • Type? western
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? no
  • Hand drying? no

Toilet of Hotel Park Royal in Batu Feringgi, Penang

What a luxury! All of them: the entrance, the lobby, the bar, the restaurant, the food and (the most imortant) the toilet! It was of course perfectly clean but also very classy and elegant. They used lot of dark wood, black surfaces and the sinks were gorgeously designed. And as a bonus they had aroma candles to give a little bit nicer odeur.
  • Costs? free
  • Tissues? free paper
  • Cleanliness? 5 of 5 Stars
  • Type? western
  • Toilet shower? no
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • Hand drying? paper

Monday, March 16, 2009

Toilet evaluation Planet Hollywood Restaurant, Jakarta

Dear readers, last week I made a short trip to Indonesia´s capital, Jakarta! There was one special toilet that really has to be mentioned in this Blog. It is located inside the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Jalan Jendut Gatot Subroto. First of all, the facilities here are very clean and they had installed one of these air-fresheners, which made the the toilet good smelling. But when I went to the sink to wash my hands there was a real surprise! Have you ever seen a toilet where all this things are offered to freshen up? Take a look: Baby-powder, Q-tips, mouthwash, Aloe-Vera lotion, facial foam and body mist cologne!!

  • Costs? free
  • Tissues? free paper
  • Cleanliness? 4½ of 5 Stars
  • Type? western
  • Toilet shower? no
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • Hand drying? paper

toilet evaluation Sungai Nibong Bus Station, Penang

Here is another public toilet example from beautiful Penang Island. Probably all of you have already been at the Sungai Nibong Bus Station near the USM. Most long-distance busses to other places in Malaysia leave from here. Therefore, the public toilets here are highly frequented.
  • Costs? 20 Cent
  • Tissues? 30 Cent
  • Cleanliness? 3 of 5 Stars
  • Type? western & asian
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • Hand drying? no hand dryer and no hand paper

Offering a hand-dryer could improve the situation! What i´d like to mention is, that the people collecting the money at the entrance are always friendly. Once (it was the day I first arrived in Penang) after a long journey when I was very exhausted I did not bring my purse up to the first floor where the toilets are located. So I asked the lady sitting there if she could make an exeption to let me use the toilet for free. She was so kind to let me in without paying the fee! Thanks to the nice staff :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Malaysia's toilet revolution - an article

I found an interesting article, I'd like to share with you:

The man behind Malaysia's toilet revolution

It talks about Malaysia upgrading its public toilets, to the extent that some colleges may even offer courses in how to keep toilets clean...

so nothing can go wrong (Dann kann ja nichts mehr schief gehen)

Dear World-of-Toilets visitors. Today, our visitor Madi ( would like to share his/her thoughts with you. The following are his/her own comments:

Ja ich gebe ja zu die Relevanz dieses Filmes ist etwas fraglich, aber seht selbst
(translation from world-of-toilet team: well, I admit the relevance of this film is rather questionable but see for yourself:)

Would you also like to share your thoughts on the World-of-Toilets? It's easier than you think! Simply visit us here:

What do YOU think?

To make this blog even more interactive and diverse we're proud to introduce something new: You can POST your own BLOG POST here on World of Toilets!

What kind of content is allowed?
Anything, really. Please write whatever you think contributes to this blog and the issue of public toilets. For example your own toilet evaluation... Please note, however, that we do not publish anything off topic or irrelevant! If you have pictures, please upload them first, and put the link to the picture in the text.

How can I publish my ideas?
Simply use the form below. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us at

Monday, March 9, 2009

Toilet in Jerejak island

Lisää kuva
This toilet is located in Jerejak island, just 10 minutes from Penang. It is a tiny island where you can do many kind of activities for example cycling, jungle trekking, wall climbing, archery etc. or you can visit an old prison and ex-quarantine block or you can just relax on the pool and play some board games. What ever suits you the best. This toilet is clean, cosy and it has a earthly touch with its plants and skylight window. And if you´re gonna visit here then check out the chandelier in the lobby!
  • Costs? free
  • Tissues? free paper
  • Cleanliness? 4½ of 5 Stars
  • Type? western
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • Hand drying? electric hand dryer and paper

Any opinions?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Would you like to visit this "see through" loo?!

38 year old architectual artist Monica Bonvicini tested the concept of how we react on "seeing but not beeing seen" situations in creating a public toilet enclosed within reflective glass walls that allow the user to see out but prevent those outside from seeing in! This toilet where placed in Basel, Switzerland and London, UK.

- Even when you know that people outside can´t possibly see you - would you be afraid to use this toilet!?

Give us your comments :)

A unique toilet "Search Engine"

Recently I received a notice (thanks to Ole) about a very interesting web2.0 project. It was founded in 2007 by two 19 year old germans and is called lootogo. They started their webpage on the 19th of november which, by the way, is the official "world toilet day".

Basically, is kind of a toilet "searchengine" with currently more than 20,000 toilet entries worldwide. It combines the opportunity of rating public toilets, as we do on our page, with an integrated google maps service. This enables the user of this site to find out the nearest public toilet to his/her current position. After typing in your position the map shows you which toilets are available in the area!

After releaving himself, the user can rate the toilet with different criteria, for example if the toilet is clean and suitable for children and disabled persons. The service on lootogo is free of charge and doesn´t require a sign-up which makes it faster and easier for the user to participate. Furthermore, they are currently trying a beta version of a mobile-phone application for real "on the go" help.

Toilets Worldwide

You want to check out the toilets of a country before you go travel there? While for Penang this blog is just PERFECT, for the rest of the world you should check out It basically evaluates public toilets world-wide, much like our blog really...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What do flush toilets stand for? Modernity....?!

Recently, I stumbled upon an interesting notion. As I am studying international development studies and politics, I came across the book 'The New Asian Hemisphere' by Kishore Mahbubani. It did not only sound interesting, but is a great account describing how Asia is on its 'March to Modernity'. Now, Mahbubani says something noteworthy, and very relevant for this blog I reckon:

...If I were asked to name the date when my life entered the modern world, I would date it to the arrival of the flush toilet. On that day I felt that there had been a magical transformation of my life.
...Daily access to flush toilets may well be the best indicator of how many of the 6.5 billion people in our world live in the premodern world and how many have transcended it. One unofficial estimate claims that only about 15 to 20 percent of the total world population has flush toilets. The UNDP Human Development statistics reveal that nearly 42 percent (or 2.6 billion) of humanity is without toilets - most of whom live in Asia and Africa. Less than one-half of all Asians have access to toilets.
A young Singaporean, Jack Sim, has set up the World Toilet Organisation, which currently has forty-seven international members. This 'WTO' communicates the need for better toilet standards in both developed and developing economies, and provides a service platform for all toilet associations, related organisations, and commited individuals to facilitate an exchange of ideas and health and cultural issues. It is easy to laugh at our pour scorn on the work of a World Toilet Organisation, but for his courageous efforts Jack Sim was recognised as a global social entrepreneur by the Davos World Economic Forum in 2006.

(Page 15)

Friday, February 20, 2009

public toilet on Tioman Island, Salang Beach

Dear all, here u are...another interesting example of a public toilet in Malaysia. On the first sight, it looks like a really bad toilet. But take a second look...the toilet itself is perfectly clean...only the surroundings like the floor and the walls are...mhh...lets say, different ;)
Would this bother u??

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just wondering if you can all see these posts... (Please ignore this post for now, but without it all other posts couldn't be displayed for some reason)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Evaluation Toilet Airport Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As there are many visitors from all over the world in the airport in Kuala Lumpur, it is important that they have many and clean toilets. And I can make you happy: they are :)

  • Costs? FREE
  • selling tissues? no (for free)
  • Cleanliness? 5 of 5 Stars
  • Type? Western
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • hand drying? paper

As you can see, they are very clean. There is even a rubbish bin in the toilet room... and even soap!

So, again, this is a prime example of what a public toilet should be like. Of course, as an airport, (and maybe after long exhausting flights) it is important to provide clean toilets. Yet, other places, too, should set this as their ideal and provide places like this.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

world of toilets on !!

Dear all,

I´m happy to tell you that our site is mentioned here on

Penang Watch has the twin objectives of encouraging the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang to improve its performance by providing it with both positive and negative feedback; and empowering the citizens of Penang by enabling them to articulate their views of the local government through the electronic media.

It´s a good chance to make our site more popular and gives Penang citizens the opportunity to participate in our Weblog Project :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Portable Toilets

This time, I would like to introduce an idea adopted in the Netherlands. In Europe, young people like to drink alocohol at night, or just go a little crazy sometimes. Often, there is the problem that someone really needs to pee, but there is just no public toilet around.
Now, Holland thought how to solve this?
Just too often, guys pee on walls of houses, or other public places. This is of course not so nice, and especially the residents don't like that.

Thus, Holland introduced portable pissoirs:

So now, men can easily go in many places in most of the Dutch cities.

However, since the toilet is open, everyone can watch them people release themselves.. Is it nice??

What do you think? Is this a common problem in Malaysia (or your country) as well?
Do you think this is a good option to solve this problem? (It certainly is very cheap!) But what about girls? And what about that everyone can watch - would you (as a man) use this kind of toilet?

Give us your comments :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

evaluation women´s toilet at restplace on Bangkok´s Chon Buri Motorway, near Phimpha

This was really a unique public toilet. Well maintained, totally clean, with nice surroundings and special features ;)
When you walk along from the restaurant of the motorway´s restplace to the new-built toilet house, you have to pass a small bridge crossing a little lake located in a lush garden.
At the entrance there is a rack offering free slipper-shoes to avoid walking in the toilet with your dirty street shoes. Big rolls of toiletpaper are offered for free and silent chillout music floats over your head while relieving yourself. Really a state of the art toilet, wow!

  • Costs? FREE
  • selling tissues? no, but free paper in big rolls
  • Cleanliness? 5 of 5 Stars
  • Type? Asian
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • hand drying? electric hand dryer and paper

Monday, February 2, 2009

evaluation women´s toilet Bukit Jambul Complex, Penang

The Bukit Jambul Complex is a big mall in the area of Bayan Lepas and a quite affordable place to shop. The toilets here are relatively clean, although from outside, it doesn´t really look like this cause of the old and wooden wall covering which gives the toilet a dark and unfriendly touch. What really annoyed me was that there are almost no signs that show the direction of the toilets. Its hard to find...especially if you are in a hurry this might be very frustrating.
  • Costs? FREE
  • selling tissues? no
  • Cleanliness? 3 of 5 Stars
  • Type? Western & Asian
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • hand drying? electric hand dryer
Sorry, the picture will follow later...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

public toilet near Garut, West-Java, Indonesia

Dear all,

If you like to make aquaintance with layers of green, slimy mildew whilst on the toilet...this is definitely one of the best places for you ;)

I saw this during my trip to Indonesia 2007. Was some kind of restaurant near the Papandayan volcano near Garut, West-Java. When I came back from the toilet wasn´t hungry anymore. Bad luck for the restaurant, hehe.

Mhhh...if you are in this area, try to find the place...would like to know if they cleaned it up during the last years :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

evaluation women´s toilet Guerney Plaza, Penang

Gurney Plaza in Georgetown, Penang, ist the second largest mall on the island. It´s a place visited by plenty of tourists and quite an upmarket location. Due to this it seems that they set a high value on having attractive toilets for their customers.
  • Costs? FREE
  • selling tissues? no
  • Cleanliness? 4 of 5 Stars
  • Type? Western & Asian
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • hand drying? electric hand dryer
Same as in Queensbay Mall, they have a changing room for babies which is highly appreciated from my side. If they would make some small improvents like for example offering free tissues in their toilets (especially cause there are so many western tourists who are used to this), it would be a nearly perfect public toilet. But anyway it can be highly recommended!

Universiti Sains Malaysia Girl's Toilet

One can find quite a few public toilets in the USM campus area. Mostly the toilets are hygienic but I have also experienced not so nice toilets in the campus area.
* Costs? FREE
* Selling tissues? There is no paper available
* Cleanliness? 2½ of 5 Stars
* Type? Western & Asian
* Toilet shower? yes
* Soap on tap? yes and sometimes even soap!
* Hand drying? none

Women´s toilet in Queensbay Mall

Really, you can find toilet from every corner of this mall!
  • Costs? FREE
  • Selling tissues? free (hand drying)
  • Cleanliness? 4 ½ of 5 Stars
  • Type? Western & Asian
  • Toilet shower? yes (outside the toilets, there´s free paper available)
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • Hand drying? electric hand dryer + paper

All in all, Queensbay Mall is clean and super comfortable experience compared to many many others! Or what?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Evaluation men's toilet in Queensbay Mall

Queensbay Mall is the biggest mall in Penang, Malaysia. Therefore it needs to have many toilets. Regarding this I'd like to give Queensbay an extra point: On every floor they have several toilets, for women, men, disabled and changing room for babies. You can find the toilets easily as there are signs everywhere.

  • Costs? FREE
  • selling tissues? free (hand drying)
  • Cleanliness? 4 of 5 Stars
  • Type? Urinals, Western & Asian
  • Toilet shower? yes (but no paper in the toilet)
  • Soap on tap? yes
  • hand drying? electric hand dryer + paper

Overall, I think Queensbay is one of the good examples of how public toilets should be. Although, especially for Western toilets there should be paper (of course one can take the paper from the handdryer before going), and the water on the ground makes it not very appealing to stay for a longer time than just necessary... So small improvements can be made, but overall very good!

What do you think? Do you have similar experiences?

public toilet in Taman Negara, Kuala Tahan Village

Attention: If your are a bit prissy with dirty toilets, please, don´t enlarge this picture!
This kind of "worst case scenario" of a public toilet is located at the Taman Negara National Park, Kuala Tahan Village, near the river. There was no Photoshop editing on this picture, I swear! :) I´m sure it has not been cleaned up since decades...but anyway it still seems to be in use! Sometimes, it might be the better choice to search for a bush instead of using the toilet, don´t you agree?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Evaluation women´s toilet in Komtar Building (Ground Floor near Starbucks)

  • Costs? 0.20 RM
  • selling Tissues? yes, 0.30 RM
  • Cleanliness? 3 of 5 Stars
  • Type? Western & Asian
  • Toilet shower? yes
  • Soap on tap? no
  • hand drying? electric hand dryer
This high-frequented public toilet is not the best example how a toilet in a public building should look like. Although they take money for it, it´s not really clean.

If you live in Penang, you´ll probably end up there, sooner or later ;) What are your experiences with this toilet?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Welcome to the World of Toilets

Hello everybody,

welcome to the blog 'world of toilets'.
This blog that will hopefully become a movement to improve public toilets in Penang or even worldwide is part of a project of the class 'Globalisation, CyberCulture and Future Studies' at Science University of Malaysia (USM).

who are we?
We are four exchange students from Finland and Germany:

(from Bremen, Germany): I´ve experienced some really disgusting public toilets the last years...(will show you some examples later on)...This Blog is an interesting attempt to make this world a place of better toilets, don´t you think so? Participate!

Dennis (originally from Germany, studying in Utrecht, the Netherlands): I've always wondered what the meaning of life was, and figured whatever it is in the end, we all just want to live a happy life. Sometimes, small things matter the most: like a comfortable place when you really need to relieve yourself. So, let's make this world a happier world - together :)

(from Tampere, Finland): Shit happens, especially when you least expect it. Ain´t it nice!

from Finland, I have been in many places and seen a lot of disgusting things and all I can say is that there is certainly nothing worse than toilet that could make you vomit only by its smell. So hopefully with this blog we can change that:
"So say no to sickening toilets, and yes to pleasure&comfort!"