Book Reviews Reviews

Book Review: Toilets – A Spotters Guide

Look what I got in the mail last week…. Lonely Planet’s Toilets – A Spotter’s Guide


Now there really is a guide for EVERYTHING!

“As any experienced traveller knows, you can tell a whole lot about a place by its bathrooms,”

How hard is it to find the toilets? Follow the familiar man/woman sign anywhere in the world and you have your spot to relieve yourself. Right?

Well, for some of these toilets it’s not quite so.

Remember when I went on a Loo Tour? I got to know all about London’s public toilets on the tour, including the pop up urinal on London’s streets (this is featured in the guide) which I never would have known existed if the guide didn’t tell me about them.

Learning all about toilets and visiting some of them can truly be an ‘off the beaten track’ experience!

Before you even start on your loo tour of the world, you’ll need to know they actually exist, and this is where the guide can come in handy.

There are toilets with better views than hotel that charges extra for rooms with views; toilets that operate like something out of space; a toilet that is actually in space and a man’s obsession with toilets that he built his house looking like a squat loo, complete with a poo-inspired garden decoration.

And some of the toilets so beautiful, so remote that they should really belong to a museum than be used!

“Whatever you prefer to call them – lavatory, loo, bog, khasi, thunderbox, dunny, washroom or water closet – toilets are a (sometimes opaque, often wide-open) window into the secret soul of a destination.”

However, there’s one downside to the guide that it isn’t complete (ok, so even the folks at Lonely Planet can’t have visited every single dunny in the world), nor it is absolute.

Take the Russian port-a-loos for example. They are no longer there on the Red Square when we were in Moscow last year, and were likely set up for a specific event only – but you get the idea. Different countries/cultures like to decorate their toilets in various many ways.

More of a coffee table book for conversation starters rather than something to be taken too seriously. Toilets – A Spotter’s Guide (£7.99) is now available from all major book retailers.

Go on, buy it for that someone who needs to be inspired to travel!

You can either purchase the book directly from the Lonely Planet Shop or buy it from Amazon.

Click to view other Lonely Planet Special Offers!

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