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The Independent Travel
ON the question of the world's most expensive public toilets, (Independent Traveller, 2 October) Tony Kelly reports on the two-tier pricing policy in China.

'It is routine practice,' he writes, 'for foreign tourists to be charged two or three times the Chinese price for hotel accommodation, meals, train tickets, museum entrances and so on. At the Shaanxi Provincial Museum in Xian, they take this approach a stage further. A notice outside the gents' declared firmly: 'Chinese 5 fen (about 0.5p) - foreign guests, 1 mao (1p).' It was not the price I objected to, though anyone familiar with Chinese public toilets will know that to charge at all amounts to extortion; what got me was the use of the word 'guests'.'

He adds that at another public toilet in Kunming, south-west China, a notice declares: 'Small excrement, 3 fen - large excrement, 5 fen.'