The tourist administration of Guangxi province has announced that it’s going to be upgrading all nineteen of the public “tourist toilets” in Yangshuo, in order to, as they put it, “take a step forward in raising the tourism service capability of the mountains and waters of the Li River”.
(the kind of toilet that’s had its day...)
For those of you who don’t know it, the town of Yangshuo is set in one of the most beautiful parts of China, surrounded by near-vertical, pine-clad “jade hairpin” mountains and with the cormorant fishermen of the winding Li River running through it. It’s incredibly popular with both Chinese and Western tourists, and has long been a laid-back travellers’ hangout.
The nineteen toilets in question were built in the seventies and eighties, and they’ve have got a bit dated, it seems. According to the province’s renovation plan, all the new toilets will have wheelchair-friendly entrance ramps, water-saving cisterns, anti-smell technology, braille signage and blind-persons’ tactile floor tiles, baby-changing facilities and Corby trouser-presses (okay, I made that bit up). They’ll be better, in fact, than practically anything you’d find in a British city, where you can either (a) go for a McPoo, or (b) find a public loo with blue lighting (to stop drug addicts finding a vein), no paper, felt-tip adverts for gay prostitutes, an unnerving sense of impending violence, and the tang of stale piss.
The Yangshuo Toilets will be star-rated, like hotels, from two to four stars, and will be free to use, funded by the tourist administration. There’ll be staff on hand around the clock. “Tourists coming to Yangshuo will not only be able to enjoy the unsurpassed beauty of the scenery, but also enjoy the high-class service of a star-rated loo,” said a tourism spokesman.