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Singapore Maps Best Places To Go

When finicky tourists in Singapore hear nature's call, they'll know where to go.

The city-state is publishing maps pinpointing its 500 cleanest public toilets in its drive to wipe dirty lavatories off the face of the island, an official said Thursday.

The toilet maps will indicate the cleanest and best-equipped restrooms for the benefit of tourists and shoppers, said Jack Sim, a founding member of the Singapore-based World Toilet Organization and president of the Restroom Association of Singapore.

The WTO Web site offers a downloadable song written for the group, "Secret Garden," sung by a youth choir.

"Secret garden out in the open,
Somewhere my heart runs free,
Deep down burning, forever yearning,
Always there."

The site solicits other songs about toilets, in the hopes of putting together album collections of them.

Singapore started rating public lavatories in its "Happy Toilet" campaign last June — using a five-star system similar to that used to grade hotels. A "Happy Toilet" is one that's rated three stars or more.

The maps will be available free at the international airport and information counters by August, and shopping malls whose restrooms don't yet qualify will be encouraged to upgrade so that they can be included, Sims said.

"If retail operators could use this as a competitive tool, it would help raise the standards of toilets in the country," Sim said. "Shopping centers with well-facilitated loos will win the trust of the shoppers."

The tightly controlled island nation of 4 million people is well-known for its behavior improvement campaigns targeting gum chewing, spitting and people who don't flush toilets.

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