Simple Dictionary of Toilet in Indonesia

In much of Indonesia, the bathroom features a large water tank and a plastic scoop. Kamar mandi means bathroom and mandi means to bathe or wash.

  • Don’t go climbing into the water tank – it’s your water supply and it’s also the supply for every other guest that comes after you. Scoop water out of the tank and pour it over yourself.
  • Most tourist hotels have showers, many have hot water.
  • Indonesian toilets are basically holes in the ground with footrests on either side, although Western-style toilets are common in tourist areas. To flush the toilet, reach for the plastic scoop, take water from the tank and pour. Public toilets are rare; find a cafe and smile.
  • Toilet paper is seldom supplied in public places, though you can easily buy it. Many Indonesians instead use their left hand and copious quantities of water – again, keep that scoop handy. Often there is a wastebasket next to the toilet where the toilet paper should go, as opposed to the easily clogged toilet.
  • Kamar kecil is Bahasa Indonesia for toilet, but people usually understand ‘way-say’ (WC). Wanita means women and pria means men.


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