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Public urination ‘pisses off’ residents in Ho Chi Minh City

Public urination ‘pisses off’ residents in Ho Chi Minh City

Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 14:32 GMT+7
Public urination ‘pisses off’ residents in Ho Chi Minh City
A man urinates into a row of decorative green bushes in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

An old problem to many cities around the world, public urination leaves a stench at many busy places across Ho Chi Minh City, where public toilets are scarce.

Puddles of urine soak the roads in the city’s central District 1 so badly that no one can walk by without feeling nauseous.

Informal gig workers like motorbike taxi drivers and street vendors spend a lot of time outside without access to proper sanitation facilities, forcing them to urinate in public.

A Grab motorbike partner urinates onto a fence of the 23-9 Park in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

A Grab motorbike partner urinates onto a fence of the 23-9 Park in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

The odor of urine is particularly strong in busy areas, such as bus terminals, bus stops, and crowded streets like Nguyen Huu Canh in Binh Thanh District, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai in District 1, and Vo Van Tan in District 3, where it is difficult to find a restroom.

Ngo Thi Anh, 52, a beverage street vendor at the 23-9 Park in District 1, said she often witnesses people peeing on the street.

A man urinates into a row of decorative green bushes in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

A man urinates into a row of decorative green bushes in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

To many pedestrians’ annoyance, like Anh, it is also common for them to come across a random person that is about to pee in public places.

They have to walk fast while covering their noses and mouths to avoid the unsightly scene.

A man urinates into a canal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

A man urinates into a canal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

According to Anh, using bathrooms inside shopping malls and at bus stations is not an option for motorbike taxi drivers, because to get there, they would have to park their vehicles.

They also refuse to use sidewalk public toilets for the same reason -- no one guards their motorcycles while they relieve themselves.

A man urinates onto a fence of the Bui Huu Nghia Bridge in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A man urinates onto a fence of the Bui Huu Nghia Bridge in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Anh claimed that people could actually find the nearest toilet to urinate but had just grown accustomed to the bad habit.

While Vietnamese law stipulates fines between VND150,000 (US$6.3) and VND250,000 ($10) for urinating and defecating in unauthorized places, but, like many other cities in the world, the problem persists.

A man urinates onto a row of decorative green bushes next to a sign warning against public urination at Mien Dong Bus Station in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

A man urinates onto a row of decorative green bushes next to a sign warning against public urination at Mien Dong Bus Station in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Luu Duyen / Tuoi Tre

Residents of New York City, for example, rely on the toilets inside Starbucks coffee shops, according to the New York Times.

Paris tried to control rampant public urination with sidewalk urinals, the U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) reported in 2018.

A Be motorbike partner urinates onto a fence on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Le An / Tuoi Tre

A Be motorbike partner urinates onto a fence on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Le An / Tuoi Tre

San Francisco painted nine walls with a repellent paint that makes pee spray back on the offender, the New York Post reported in 2015.

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Bao Anh - Luu Duyen - Le An / Tuoi Tre News

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