Also called the butt-blaster, butt bomber, bum shower and ass hose, this hand-held bidet faithfully sits beside the toilets of Asia, freaking out Westerners and causing them to stockpile tissue like the world is ending!
The bum gun is looked upon fondly by long-term travellers and with horror by the newer ones – especially when they learn it’s not a showerhead… Yet the bum gun is a rite of passage for travellers to Southeast Asia and it’s guaranteed you’ll never forget the first time that you use one!
Introducing the World’s Best Butt Washer!
6 Benefits of the Butt Gun
- Bum Guns clean your butt much more thoroughly – Asians have known it for years. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that cleaning something with water (and sometimes soap) gets your ass much cleaner than dry toilet paper will!
- Bum guns are more hygienic – If you put your hand in poo would you simply wipe it off with a bit of paper? No didn’t think so. I rest my case!
- Bum guns are more environmentally friendly – Did you know that the average household (2.6 people) uses an average of 409 toilet rolls each per year? Think how many trees could be saved if everyone switched to using the bum gun!
- Bum guns avoid sewage blockages – In Asia, where sewage pipes are thinner than in Western countries, using the bum gun avoids clogged up toilet paper blocking up the pipe.
- Bum guns make water treatment an easier task! – When you don’t have to filter out soggy toilet paper from the water, it takes less work to get the water back in a safe state.
- Bum guns save money – Never spend money on toilet roll again!
The links to Amazon on this page are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate South East Asia Backpacker earns from qualifying purchases.
5 Tips to Become an Expert at the Bum Gun!
Now that you’re a wizened wizard of the Bum Gun, there are a couple of extra things to note to help you adjust to Asian toilet etiquette.
1. Always do a water pressure test.
We’ve all experienced that zero to 60 jet spray at one time or another. Each hose has a different velocity and spray and must be treated with respect. Spray into the shower drain before you spray into your bottom and avoid giving yourself a colon cleanse.
2. For the love of god, aim.
You’ll soon find that certain angles are better than others to get both your bits clean and keep your pants dry. Practice makes perfect and by the end of your trip, you’ll be a Bum Gun master.
3. Keep back up toilet paper.
Don’t think earning the status of a Bum Gun Initiate means you can stop stockpiling toilet paper. You’ll need it to dry yourself off afterwards if you happen to go really wild with the spray. Or when the Bum Gun looks especially dodgy, it’s always nice to have a fallback.
4. Put the toilet paper in the bin!
In Asia, it’s important not to flush that toilet paper or tissue down the toilet where it could block the drain, but drop it in the bin at the side of the lavatory. It’s something that many backpackers just can’t get used to again when they get back home and end up dropping their tissue on the floor!
5. Wash your hands thoroughly after usage.
Of course we don’t need to tell you this one. Your Mum taught you that one ages ago! And if you can’t soap it up, hand sanitiser will do the trick until you can get back to your hostel and scrub a dub dub.
A Backpacker’s First Encounter with the Bum Gun…
You walk, unassumingly into a toilet stall, regretting the beers you finished off the night before. Or was it this morning? You can’t really remember. As you latch the door shut with a rusty nail, you turn and see the dismal site of a leaky, smelly hole in the ground, the uninviting squat toilet…
It’s the standard rest stop toilet. So you hitch your pants down around your ankles and hold onto them for dear life as you go about your business. You’re regretting those 4 am noodles now. Squatting down, hangover screaming, stomach-churning, you contemplate if you can hold it for a couple more hours. Nope. Definitely not. You do your thing, which is already an ordeal in the 40+ degree weather, and come to the terrifying realisation that you’ve run out of your carefully curated store of toilet paper.
Who needs toilet paper anyway?
As you break out in cold sweats amidst your regular sweats, you look frantically around for anything that could be used to wipe your derriere. Your eyes light upon the bucket of stagnant water used to manually flush the toilet. “Absolutely not!” Your civilised voice screams. Finally. you settle upon the bum gun. Even as your mind runs through the list of every possible alternative, your hand reaches out to grasp the handle. You stare at it, thinking about what your friends would say, then sigh as you pluck up your courage and take the plunge.
A Bum Shower – That First Blast!
You make the mistake every first-time blaster makes. Instead of the gradual drip that you expected, a full-strength jet of water shoots out of the limescale crusted hose, sending you three feet off the toilet. Was that an audible yelp? Not only are you clean, your pants are soaked, the wall is saturated and you’ve probably given yourself an enema. As you stumble out of the stall still dripping slightly, you stand a little taller. Congratulations, you’ve passed the initiation and earned the right to consider yourself a proper South East Asian Backpacker!
Once You Spray You’ll Never Go Back!
It may take some getting used to and a bit of cultural realignment, but once you embrace the Gun, you’ll never go back! It’ll be one of those fond memories of Asia you’ll recall at family events or when you’re out with your friends and they ask you about your trip. As their eyes narrow, in that way they do, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll never understand the satisfaction and ease that the Bum Gun brings to thousands of people every day!
Join Over 20,000 Happy Backpackers in Our Facebook Group!
Find travel buddies. Get advice. Have all your questions answered by travellers on the ground in Southeast Asia right now.