Follow for more talkers

This man visited 100 countries to search for the world’s worst public toilet

The retired builder developed his peculiar fascination for public lavatories – and in particular their poor construction – on his first overseas holiday to Morocco.

Avatar photo


Graham Askey who has spent hundreds of thousands and traveled almost 75,000 miles to 100 countries. (Graham Askey via SWNS)

By Athena Stavrou via SWNS

A man who spent 150K and traveled 75,000 miles to 100 countries to find the world's worst public toilet says he has finally found it - in Tajikistan.

Travel writer and blogger Graham Askey - known to his friends as “King of the Porcelain” - scanned the globe for the most disgusting loos.

And he has now found the “perfect hell hole” – a ramshackle tent with walls that double as toilet paper.

He says the 5-foot bog 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.

Graham says there is also a danger of disturbing deadly snakes and fearless rats which have all made their homes in the nearby rocks.

According to 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.

The world's worst toilet, in Tajikistan. (Graham Askey via SWNS)

He has included 36 of the “crappiest crappers” he encountered in his new book ‘Toilets of the Wild Frontier’, which hits the shelves this week.

Other public loos that made his “crap list” include a sink in Bangladesh and a bath containing “liters 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.

The retired builder 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, traveled approximately 75,000 miles, and spent around £150,000 visiting private and public bathrooms worldwide.

Blocked sink in Bangladesh. (Graham Askey via SWNS)

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.

Whilst meant as a work of satire, it also aims to highlight the health risk posed by sub-standard sanitation.

Askey, 58, 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.

Askey has traveled all over the world. (Graham Askey via SWNS)

“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 sh*tters on stilts, sinks seemingly full of wee and bathtubs 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!”

Askey, who lives in Brighton, 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.”

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers