UNESCO World Heritage Site in China installs toilet timer for tourists

UNESCO World Heritage Site in China installs toilet timer for tourists

Rich Thomaselli | (TNS) TravelPulse

‘I’m almost done.’ Apparently, there is no longer a need for an awkward bathroom conversation at a site in China.

China’s Yungang Buddhist Grottoes are a major tourist attraction, but they are gaining more notoriety lately for a bathroom policy. Officials have installed timers on the toilets at this UNESCO World Heritage site to move things along.

Pardon the unintentional pun.

A video about the restrooms even made some Chinese newscasts, with the reports showing the timers above individual cubicles in the female restrooms. A digital display shows whether the cubicle is empty or how much time the person inside is supposed to have left.

Officials did say that they would not interrupt anybody or kick anyone out.

“I found it quite advanced technologically so you don’t have to queue outside or knock on a bathroom door,” one visitor said. “But I also found it a little bit embarrassing. It felt like I was being monitored.”

The timers were installed on May 1, which has obviously caused a great deal of debate on Chinese social media.

“A tourist site isn’t an office – who would spend their time in the toilets? Is it really necessary?” said one post.

“Why don’t they just spend the money on building more washrooms?” said another.

Of course, you could always try holding it.


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