Bahrain is small, Arab state situated in a bay on the southwestern coast of the Persian Gulf. It is an archipelago consisting of Bahrain Island and some 30 smaller islands…and no, they largely do not use toilet paper. As is the case in most Islamic countries (like Algeria, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan), Bahrainis prefer to wash with water after using the restroom, usually using a toilet hose or an Aftabeh: essentially a pitcher of water that’s kept beside the toilet that you can use to clean yourself after using the restroom.
What types of toilets are common in Bahrain?
The most common type of toilet in Bahrain is the “squat toilet” (as opposed to the sit-down toilet). Studies have shown that squatting may help you “go” more quickly. Squatting may also cause you to strain less and empty your bowels more completely than when you sit on a toilet. By making it easier to poop, squatting might ease constipation and prevent hemorrhoids, which are often a result of straining.
What about Travelers? How should tourists deal with it?
Travelers may want to pack some toilet paper, wet-wipes and hand sanitizer when they visit Bahrain, as it is not customary to stock TP in most Bahrani bathrooms. Even if there is no TP though, have no fear: you will likely have access to a toilet hose (or even a bidet) or an Aftebeh. These cleaning methods could take some getting used to but will certainly do the job and are arguably just as hygienic as using toilet paper.
If you decide to visit Bahrain, rest assured you will have many things to do. The beaches offer warm, crystal clear water all year round, even during winter and Bahrain also offers fascinating cultural and historical sites with many forts and a plethora of museums to choose from. Although you will likely not have access to toilet paper when you visit, you will be able to wash and should not let it stop you from visiting this fascinating, Middle-Eastern country!