Koh Tao Festival is upon us again! It happens every year, and is a two day event run by the Save Koh Tao organisation, and the local Koh Taoian community. This year it falls on the 18th and 19th of June, and right now I can hear the thumping bass from the festival grounds. It’s my third year attending the Koh Tao Festival, and as always, it’s a time for the Thais, Burmese workers, and Westerners (local, and tourists) to mingle, eat food, drink, and listen to looooud, peaking Thai techno/pop. There’s also usually a few shows that are performed on the main stage, and last night we watched the Koh Tao Playschool kids dress up in an ‘Under the Sea’ theme. How can you not enjoy it when there are three year olds dressed as ‘seaweed,’ and a five year old Poseidon and Ariel dancing around!?
The Koh Tao Festival aims to promote eco-awareness, and there’s a few interesting ‘sculptures’ dotted around the grounds, created from rubbish that’s been collected on Koh Tao. I like the pretty lights, and sometimes the sculptures are quite creative; a giant jellyfish made out of ripped up plastic bags, a floating paper-mache Whaleshark etc. Hopefully these actually help in making locals and tourists a bit more aware of their plastic consumption and the rubbish we all create. There’s also the main event, which is a fashion show where the outfits are made from our waste products, such as plastic bottles, plastic bags, and just rubbish in general.
We did find it a bit amusing, and mostly ironically sad, that despite the eco-ness that the festival is trying to promote, you will still see the pop-up bars offering plastic cups for drinks, and placing eight straws in a bucket (even if the straws are biodegradable, do we still need that many?), and people; Westerners, Thais and Burmese, just throwing their cigarette butts and rubbish on the ground. Anyway, I’m here to talk about the Koh Tao Festival toilets, and not to preach about how we’re destroying the planet one plastic compound at a time.
Here’s what to expect when you need to visit the loo at a Thai Festival.
As you can see, it’s a squat toilet!
I’m constantly surprised by squat toilets, and I certainly did not think I would see it when I opened up the port-a-loo door! My first reaction was pretty much ‘Oh, there you are! I didn’t expect you here. I wasn’t prepared! Give me some time to prepare, dammit!!‘ but then I briefly thought about it and considering how small the cubicles are in a portable toilet, and considering how I like to hover over public toilets, I have come to the conclusion that it actually helps my small frame when I’m confronted by a squat toilet rather than a regular throne!
As usual with Thai toilets, there’s a basket to throw paper in (if you’re smart enough to remember to bring some with you. I always forget…), and a water bucket with a smaller bucket inside to manually flush the toilet.
So there you have it, if you’re at a Thai festival with portable toilets, then it’ll most likely be a squatter! Another riveting post where I’ve done the research so you don’t have to!