The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

In praise of the Thai Toilet Hose (what’s that thing attached to my toilet, and how do I use it?)

Written By: herbrunbridge - Apr• 26•10

Thai toilet hose in holster position

First time travelers to Thailand are soon confronted with an element of plumbing not generally associated with western toilets: the Thai bathroom hose (“fahk bua”).  Used to the western convention of toilet paper, travelers tend to eschew this remarkable device, which, in fact, keeps one cleaner after ablutions than does t.p. (Thais generally use paper only for drying.)  The problem, apart from its unfamiliarity, is lack of instruction as to how the hose is used.  Thais, ever cognizant of decorum, won’t tell you.  But we will.

Why it works
Logic is the reason.  Simply, a good jetstream of water does the job better than paper, and the additional use of soap makes one cleaner.  And many westerners have now, after falling in love with the hose, bought them in Thailand, taken them to their own countries, and plumbed them into their own bathrooms. They generally agree that the use of toilet paper to clean oneself is barbaric.



How it works
It will take you a maximum of three sessions to get the technique down pat, and we predict you’ll eventually adopt it as your preference.  You’ll need only two items at hand to do the job:
– soap, within easy reach
– a towel (or paper) for drying

ThailandPromoBannerTake these steps in the following order (we’re assuming the hose is located on your right.  Reverse everything below if it’s on your left):
1)      Flush the organic material
2)      If you’re a man, rise forward, lifting your rear off the back of the seat, direct the hose to your nether regions, and hose the entire area at random.  If you’re a woman, lean backward, hold the hose slightly in front of the area to be washed, then direct the jet stream over all areas, washing the detritus up and backward. Gravity and continued directed water will wash the effluvium into the bowl.
3)      Continue holding the hose in your right hand, but stop the water flow.  Grab the soap with your left hand, and rising forward, soap all areas.
4)      If you’re a man, lean forward slightly, and, hose in right hand and soap in left, direct the hose slightly under you, aim the jet to both your personal areas, and to the soap in your left hand as well. Fire away. This produces the final cleaning action on both your bottom, and your left hand and soap as well. If you’re a woman, repeat the same procedure, but instead, lean backward, and direct the water stream toward the rear of the toilet bowl.
5)       Replace the clean soap in its receptacle, and use the towel to dry off.

You’re now cleaner than you’ve ever been in a western country, on par with the Thais!

Other Thai bathroom essentials
Away from big cities, you’ll find squat toilets to be fairly ubiquitous, and in most bathrooms you’ll find a water spigot, a cistern, and a plastic cup or small bucket.  Toilet paper is virtually non-existent.  The idea here is to wash yourself with water from the plastic cup (remember to bring your own soap, as it’s not always provided), and when the cup of bucket is empty, fill it from the cistern of spigot.  Outside, you’ll generally find a sink with soap.

Especially in bars, the single bathroom is unisex.  When using the urinal in men’s bathrooms in bars, it’s not uncommon to find yourself getting a shoulder massage from the attendant.  Be assured, it’s not a gay pickup routine.  He’ll also offer you a clean, warm hot towel, and you’ll be expected to leave a small tip, as that’s his pay for keeping the restroom clean.

No doubt about it, Thai restrooms are the cleanest and funnest in the universe!

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  1. Bum Gun Sniper says:

    Loads of people agree. After you’ve used the bum gun three or four times, you just can’t go back to using tissue to rub the poo into your skin.
    However, I think the instructions in the article make rather a meal of the process.
    It’s actually much easier than that and you just stay sat on the toilet. Just don’t be screemish and just wash your hands after as normal. The first time ever is “urgggh ewww”, but after that it doesn’t even bother you even slightly again and your ring piece is left pristine.

  2. Dr. Bageshwar Jha says:

    The bum gun, a Thai initiative has caught the imagination of the world wherever water is used for ablution in toilet. Cleaning oneself with that hose and wiping dry with either a towel or tissue paper, leaves him cleaner than simple tissue washing. In India, a company started it with trade name of bum chum. Today, whether it is squatting or sitting type pan, the owner does not forget to provide luxury of that hose.

  3. […] I saw these hoses in all the bathrooms here, I finally googled Thai toilet hose and got the instructions I needed.  What a wonderful tool.  In our apartment, only the shower […]

  4. […] Thai Toilets – I won’t get into the details, but I had to read this how to manual. […]

  5. […] less fancy set-ups, a bucket of water is provided to manually flush the excrement. Usually there is no toilet paper, either: you are meant to clean yourself with water from the hose or bucket.  If you do use toilet […]

  6. Anonymous says:

    I thought it was for cleaning the toilet. Ha ha.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just had my Bum Gun installed. I can’t believe I have been without one for so long. It is so refreshing and sanitary. Gone are the days of using so much toilet paper and still not feeling clean. Everyone in the USA seems to think we are so advanced in health and hygiene, yet we all walk around with residuals left from toilet paper usage. UGH!!!! Every bathroom needs a Bum Gun. Installation only took 10 minutes and was very easy.

    The Bum Gun is a life changer for better hygiene. Thanks so much!

  8. The Bum Gun says:

    Fantastic article and so happy the good word is spreading and soon washing powder companies will be taking a huge hit with the reduced amount of ‘skid-marks’ in folks’ underpants!! The Bum Gun is a masterful invention.
    Check it out here:

  9. Hi relly. I did it myself in the U.S., took less than an hour. Once you buy the hose, make sure that it fits your toilet valve. If not, you can buy an adaptor at any local plumbing or hardware store. Once you have all the parts, it’s about a 15 minute install. Plan on paying the minimum wage for one hour plumbing in your country and you’re all set.

  10. relly says:


    how much is this feature to be installed?

  11. concei says:

    Useful information, many thanks to the author.

  12. Tom S. says:

    Being a guy, from the U.S., I wasn’t used to seeing this kind of thing. I laughed so hard I farted. I thought it was a Thai bidet. Just had to try it. Loved it and brought one home. My friend is from Australia and he took 2 home.

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