Friday, December 17, 2010

Buses with Bathrooms?

Here's the question:
Planning on teaching in Korea (of course English) and hoping to travel all over the country. What I am concerned about is the long trips (3 hours or over) that you have to take on bus rides. Do these buses have bathrooms? I heard that during these trips people like to eat and specifically drink? During a bus ride and let's say for lack of a better word have to pee or even worse go #2, what do people do during these types of situations?
I'm a big fan of bathroom-related questions. You can tell a lot about people, cultures and history based on their bathroom habits, jokes and facilities.

I personally stay away from a lot of bus travel for this very reason. First of all, no buses available to the general public have bathrooms on them. Instead, the driver will pull into a very busy rest-stop at the halfway point on most trips over 2.5 or 3 hours. Of course, not everyone has the exact same bladder functions and this presents a problem. 

In all honesty, you have one option: begging the driver to pull over

In most cases, they will. It's not totally uncommon to see a bus in the shoulder and a lone passenger ducking behind the bushes. It's embarrassing for sure, but much better than, say, pooping in your pants.

Koreans have largely gotten used to this arrangement and since they're also the world's greatest transit sleepers, they generally doze through the entire process. 

In other words, make sure that you're empty before the trip and don't booze too heavily the night before.


Chris in South Korea said...

Much like buses in other countries (whether they have bathrooms on board or not), do your business before you get on. It's also a good idea to buy those drinks and snacks before heading toward the bus.

FWIW, rest areas in Korea ROCK. Huge bathrooms, plenty of food, maps for the tourists, and full-fledged restaurants make most any stop back in the US look like something out of the 1960's.

조안나 said...

My first bus ride in Korea was a 6 hour (we thought 3 but didn't get on the express bus) ride to the east sea. We stopped once at a rather dirty rest stop (granted, thats the worst I've seen, most are super modern and clean) and they only had squat toilets. I had never used one and decided that I was just going to hold it until we got there (like I said, I thought it was going to be a 3 hour ride) but fortunately my friend forced me to suck it up and use it (and I discovred the wonders of the asian squat toilet... they really are nice as long as they aren't terribly dirty) and thank god I did because we had another 4 hours without another stop. Never say no to a bathroom break on those trips!!

Laine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ari said...

It's so strange, I'm used to traveling on coaches with on-board toilets in england, and never once thought to ask the question of whether other countries' coaches have toilets too!

CurryBadger said...

I suppose you'd have to rethink your necessary items to bring on the trip. In case of the "behind the bush" scenario.

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