A British travel blogger who spent £150,000 and travelled 75,000 miles to more than 90 countries to find the world’s worst public toilet says he has finally found it – in Tajikistan.
Brighton-based writer and blogger Graham Askey – known to his friends as ‘King of the Porcelain’ – scanned the globe for the most disgusting loos.
After visiting 91 countries and blogging writing extensively about some of the worst examples he has found, the 58-year-old has now discovered the ‘perfect hell hole’ – a ramshackle tent with walls that double as loo roll.
The retired builder says the 5ft-tall loo in northern Tajikistan is so bad those desperate enough to use it must stoop over sun-dried poo.
But by far the ‘most repellent thing of all’, Askey says, is that its fabric walls are used as shared toilet paper.
He says some ‘wall’ sections have been torn off and discarded on the cubicle floor. There is also a danger of disturbing deadly snakes and fearless rats which have all made their homes in the nearby rocks.
According to Mr Askey, the toilet in the Ayni region of Tajikistan, on the western edge of the Pamirs and not far from the Afghanistan border, is so vile that the locals refuse to use it unless ‘absolutely desperate’.
Askey, a self-confessed ‘squatter spotter’, visited hundreds of public toilets in six of the world’s seven continents before crowning the Tajikistan outhouse the worst of them all.
Graham Askey estimates he has spent as much as £150,000 travelling the world and photographing its public toilets
According to Mr Askey, this is the world’s ‘worst toilet’, which can be found near the Afghanistan border in Tajikistan
Mr Askey has visited 91 countries in his quest to rate the globe’s public loos – and says all of the ones listed in his new book pose a serious health risk
This collapsing structure is a makeshift toilet that Mr Askey came across in Bangladesh
A hut on 10ft-high stilts in Indonesia also made the list thanks to its death-defying walkway
He has included 36 of the ‘c**ppiest c**ppers’ he encountered in his new book Toilets of the Wild Frontier, which hits the shelves this week.
Other public loos that made his ‘c**p list’ include a sink in Bangladesh and a bath containing ‘litres of number ones and twos’ in China – with the plug left in.
A hut on 10ft-high stilts in Indonesia also made the list thanks to its death-defying walkway, as did a wooden chair with an in-built toilet seat in Benin which, perched prominently upon a raised platform in the middle of the village, is said by Askey to be the ‘least privacy conscious lavatory’ he’s ever encountered.
Mr Askey developed his peculiar fascination for public lavatories – and in particular their poor construction – on his first overseas holiday to Morocco.
He has since visited 91 countries, travelled approximately 75,000 miles, and spent around £150,000 visiting private and public bathrooms around the world.
He photographed only the outside of the worst loos he visited to spare people the ‘vomit-inducing’ contents, and would spend the ‘absolute minimum amount of time’ inside to stave off nausea.
The pictures he took clocked-up thousands of views on his ‘Inside Other Places’ blog which he penned for the fictitious Toilet & Urinal Restoration & Design Society (‘TURDS’).
His unique posts about far-flung parts of the world became so popular that he decided to collate the top 36 into book form.
This bath, found in China, was filled with ‘litres of number ones and twos’ according to the travel blogger
These toilets in Uzbekistan are at least solid structures, but still made the list of the worst 36 public loos in the world
For another toilet in Tajikistan, it is the precarious perch it lies on amongst mountains which sees it make the list
This toilet in Indonesia, located on a raft, empties straight into the water beneath
This bathroom in Benin contains little more than a wooden chair modified to house a toilet seat with a bucket underneath
Whilst meant as a work of satire, it also aims to highlight the health risk posed by sub-standard sanitation.
Mr Askey said: ‘Make no mistake that every entry on my list is gross beyond words.
‘Some may look OK but believe me – and I know – they’re the most inhospitable places on earth, and to spend a single minute inside any of them would be unthinkable except in the direst of circumstances.
‘Each and every one of them would appear to attract members of the public who have yet to master the basic art of ‘aiming’.
‘After my many travels, I thought I’d seen it all, what with s**tters on stilts, sinks seemingly full of wee and bath tubs apparently being used as makeshift bogs.
‘But having enjoyed some of the filthiest bathroom facilities to be found anywhere on the planet, the toilet in Tajikistan has to be the worst in the world – it is the perfect hell hole.
‘With no toilet paper available, the builders have conveniently built it with a fabric covering to offer wiping functionality – and it looks like the locals have made full use of it!’
Mr Askey added: ‘While readers will undoubtedly find these woeful public toilets hilarious, it must be understood that they represent a significant and largely unnecessary health risk, which can be reduced substantially by supporting charities like ActionAid and World Toilet Day.’