19

I've been in Taipei for over a week and keep running into the problem of not being able to find public toilets.

I can't recall seeing a single public toilet in a street or park.

Train and MRT stations have bathrooms and some can be accessed without a ticket, but one this evening could not be accessed. One convenience store near here has one but all of the others I checked today did not have one.

A few years ago I had similar difficulty in Seoul, South Korea. But then I found out somewhere that they had a law that required buildings to permit public access to bathrooms. From that point I found I could wander into just about any random building in the city and find a bathroom on the ground or first floor landing.

So is there some trick to finding a toilet when needed in Taiwan too?

10

It's enough of a problem that someone's built an app for that. So one 'trick' would be to download the app, provided you have a capable smartphone.

Where are toilets in Taiwan logo from Google Android Play Store

Where are toilets in Taiwan?

This will require a GPS signal and data to function, but claims to cover over 60,000 public toilets in the country.

The second trick you can take note of comes from the app description, where it points out the common locations of public toilets:

include Department stores, McDonald, Starbucks, School, Seven-eleven, Park, Gas station, Hospital, Police department, Supermarket, Library, Train station, Restaurant etc.

so if you're in a bind and don't have the app to hand, try looking for those locations first and foremost.

  • 1
    Aha how Chinese of them to have only a singular McDonald. Thank a lot Mark! (-: – hippietrail Feb 28 '14 at 16:46
  • 2
    The app seems to be gone. Probably something to do with the icon! – John Dec 6 '16 at 22:18
5

In MRT stations with bathrooms inside the station, you can ask the station personnel and they should let you in to use it.

Convenience stores are hit and miss. Larger ones and ones outside of cities are more likely to have them, and some even have a toilet icon on the sign outside. Smaller ones in the city are unlikely to have them, but you can still ask.

McDonalds and Starbucks are pretty reliable.

3

As an absolute last resort, you can try walking into a local independent shop/canteen looking desperate and asking:

不好意思,我可以借個廁所嗎?
bù hǎoyìsi, wǒ kěyǐ jiè ge cèsuǒ ma?
I'm sorry, could I please use your toilet?

If you're lucky (anecdotally, around 80% of the time) they will let you use their customer or staff toilet. As usual with such abuses of people's kindness, keep it to a minimum and pay it forward :)

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