August 1, 2007-Plumbing Palace: China Public Restroom Has 1,000 Stalls
They're flush with pride in a southwestern Chinese city where a recently-opened porcelain palace features an Egyptian facade, soothing music and more than 1,000 toilets spread out over 32,290 square feet.
Officials in Chongqing are preparing to submit an application to Guinness World Records to have the free four-story public bathroom listed as the world's largest, the state-run China Central Television reported Friday.
"We are spreading toilet culture. People can listen to gentle music and watch TV," said Lu Xiaoqing, an official with the Yangrenjie, or "Foreigners Street," tourist area where the bathroom is located. "After they use the bathroom they will be very, very happy."
Footage aired on CCTV showed people milling about the sprawling facility and washing their hands at trough sinks. For open-aired relief, there is a cluster of stalls without a roof.
Some urinals are uniquely shaped, including ones inside open crocodile mouths and several that are topped by the bust of a woman resembling the Virgin Mary.
"Other bathrooms are all the same. This one is very special, I've never seen anything like it," one visitor to the tourist area told CCTV.
There are also plans to build a supermarket nearby, which will sell toilet-related items, CCTV reported.
© 2007 The Associated Press. Photo source: www.bbc.co.uk