Two tricycles serve as free toilet guides for visitors to Beijing's popular Shichahai area on Wednesday, February 28, 2007. The battery-driven vehicles are believed to be hugely convenient to those dying for a leak. [Photo: Xinhua]
Two battery-driven tricycles have begun serving tourists dying for a leak in Beijing's Shichahai scenic area. With such first ever toilet usher service, rushing tourists won't have to spend an extra penny whenever they visit this downtown scenic spot in the Chinese capital.
With signboards saying "Help you find a nearest toilet!" attached to their front and back, two friendly tricycles, run by two sanitary employees, will take their "guests" to the desired destination within 30 seconds for free!
The Shichahai scenic area, which just began this humane service, has been the best place for visitors to sample old Beijing's Hutong culture, but the complicated alleyway networks often leave tourists feeling disorientated.
Wang Huan, one of the two "toilet ushers" told Beijing News that he had done a lot of field work before being appointed the job, and now he knows all the whereabouts of public toilets in the vicinity.
From 8 o'clock in the morning to 5 o'clock in the evening, the two tricycles will search the area attending to visitors' urgent requests.
This tourist worshipped area still bears the resemblance to an ancient Beijing. The area is a combination of ancient rhythm and modern beats, filled up with restaurants, pubs and small curio shops. Streams of tourists float through old Beijing's labyrinthine alleyways on man-powered rickshaws during daytime, with the city's white-collar workers and foreign expats spending the night hours in pubs.