China Hopes to Wipe Away Toilet Fears in Beijing

Public restrooms in China's capital city, notorious among local residents and visitors as smelly and ill-kept, will soon feature rarely seen luxuries during the Olympics — toilet paper and soap, the AFP reported Friday.

In a special effort to provide a "pleasant experience" to visitors during next month's games, China says it will clean up and stock more than 4,000 public toilets.

"Beijing is working hard to make every public toilet a pleasant experience for the millions who visit the city for the Games," Yu Debin, deputy director of the Beijing tourism bureau, told China Daily.

Using public bathrooms in China has long been a dreaded experience for visitors to the country.

Aside from having a reputation as smelly and unclean, they generally lack toilet paper and handsoap, toilets often fail to flush, or worse, feature Asian-style squats.

The capital city hopes to change its reputation by also installing numbers of Western-style toilets to cater to foreigners, the elderly and physically challenged, the Guo Weidong, a Beijing municipal administration commission spokesman, told China Daily.

In addition to the potty clean-up. The city is launching other campaigns to improve its appearance during the games, including a program to coach youngsters to avoid social faux pas such as spitting and cutting in line.

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