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On the clock: China installs toilet timers at popular World Heritage site | Planet Attractions
     

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On the clock: China installs toilet timers at popular World Heritage site

A major heritage attraction in China has found itself under scrutiny after installing timers above all of its public toilets in order to cope with an increase in visitor numbers




Timers have been installed to limit the usage of public toilets at the World Heritage site   Credit: Guan Zhe

Visitors wanting use the facilities at the Yungang Grottoes in China will now find themselves in a race against time, with the Unesco World Heritage site installing timers in its restrooms to track how long a cubicle has been in use.

The historic site in Datong City, Shanxi Province, features 252 caves and 51,000 statues, which represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries.

According to management of the heritage attraction, the timers have been installed to limit the usage of public toilets, with the clock starting the second the door has been closed.

According to local media, the “innovative” restroom management system was not designed to police toilet use but would help to cope with an increase in the number of visitors to the site.

“They aren’t there to control the durations you could use the bathrooms,” a staff member told Xiaoxiang Morning Herald.

“It’s impossible that we would kick someone out midway. And we aren’t setting a time limit such as five or 10 minutes of how long one could use the toilets.”


The news has spread across social media, particularly China’s Weibo, with many users questioning why the heritage site wouldn’t just install more toilets instead of spend money on the timers. Many have criticised the move, with people saying it has obviously been done to limit toilet usage.

Last year, more than three million people visited the Yungang Grottoes, which is one of northern China’s most popular attractions. The site generated an income of more than US$28 (€26m, £22m) through 2023.


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On the clock: China installs toilet timers at popular World Heritage site | Planet Attractions
news

On the clock: China installs toilet timers at popular World Heritage site

A major heritage attraction in China has found itself under scrutiny after installing timers above all of its public toilets in order to cope with an increase in visitor numbers




Timers have been installed to limit the usage of public toilets at the World Heritage site   Credit: Guan Zhe

Visitors wanting use the facilities at the Yungang Grottoes in China will now find themselves in a race against time, with the Unesco World Heritage site installing timers in its restrooms to track how long a cubicle has been in use.

The historic site in Datong City, Shanxi Province, features 252 caves and 51,000 statues, which represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries.

According to management of the heritage attraction, the timers have been installed to limit the usage of public toilets, with the clock starting the second the door has been closed.

According to local media, the “innovative” restroom management system was not designed to police toilet use but would help to cope with an increase in the number of visitors to the site.

“They aren’t there to control the durations you could use the bathrooms,” a staff member told Xiaoxiang Morning Herald.

“It’s impossible that we would kick someone out midway. And we aren’t setting a time limit such as five or 10 minutes of how long one could use the toilets.”


The news has spread across social media, particularly China’s Weibo, with many users questioning why the heritage site wouldn’t just install more toilets instead of spend money on the timers. Many have criticised the move, with people saying it has obviously been done to limit toilet usage.

Last year, more than three million people visited the Yungang Grottoes, which is one of northern China’s most popular attractions. The site generated an income of more than US$28 (€26m, £22m) through 2023.


 



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