Private toilets open their doors to tourists for free in central Vietnam

Visitors can now relieve themselves in many offices, hotels and restaurants in Hue without charge or embarrassment.
Office buildings, government agencies, cafés and hotels in Vietnam’s former capital Hue are being encouraged to open their toilet doors to tourists and locals in response to complaints that there aren’t enough public facilities.

In response to the plan, many office buildings, hotels, restaurants and cafés in the city have started displaying “free toilet” signs on popular tourist streets such as Le Loi, Hung Vuong, Nguyen Hue and Nguyen Cong Tru.

Vo Quoc Hung, a tourist from Vietnam’s southern province of Ca Mau, said he had struggled to find a public toilet on his previous trips to Hue. If he was on the road, he usually had to visit a café and order a drink so that he could use the toilet.

“Seeing all the ‘free toilet’ signs outside the cafés and restaurants makes me excited about tourism in Hue. It will make visitors like me feel a lot more welcome,” Hung said.

More than 50 establishments in Hue have started displaying the “free toilet” signs, according to Phan Thien Dinh, director of Thua Thien Hue’s Department of Planning and Investment. This includes the offices of the Department of Planning and Investment, the Department of Culture and Hue’s People’s Committee.

“Hopefully more offices, hotels, restaurants and even locals will start letting visitors use their toilets for free. This will make Hue appear more friendly to tourists,” Dinh said.

Hue is famous for its stunning scenery and for being the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty between 1802 and 1945. The Imperial City is a particularly popular tourist attraction, and was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1993.

Thua Thien-Hue Province attracted more than three million tourists last year. It aims to draw 3.5 million tourists this year and more than five million in 2020.


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