The flooding in Thailand is mainly affecting the central provinces along the Chao Phraya River including Bangkok and Ayutthaya. Other popular tourist destinations in the central region including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Ko Chang have not been affected by the floods. Provinces in the south of Thailand also have not been affected by the floods.
Situation in Bangkok
Most areas of central Bangkok where to tourists normally go are not flooded at this time. The Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok, is at a higher-than-normal level. This is causing some flooding at tourist attractions that are close to the river.
Within the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, several suburbs and areas adjacent to the Chao Phraya River are experiencing flooding. As these areas are largely residential and industrial zones, they are not normally visited by tourists. The government has asked residents to leave these areas due to the flooding.
The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are operating normally. Taxis and tuk tuks are operating on a limited basis. Many BMTA bus routes have been rerouted or suspended due to the flooding. Express boat services on the Chao Phraya River have also been suspended.
According to government officials, October 27th until November 1st, 2011 will be a peak period for flooding due to a combination of high seasonal tides and the large volume of water flowing from the northern provinces through the Bangkok area. The government has announced holidays during this period to facilitate the management of flood control measures. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is closed the weekend of October 29th.
Given the rapidly changing nature of the flooding situation in Bangkok, the TAT recommends that tourists check multiple sources of information to make an informed decision about whether they should visit Bangkok at the present time.
Bangkok is served by two airports. Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main gateway to Thailand with 120 international and domestic airlines, remains open. It has considerable flood protection measures in place and is operating normally, handling around 76 flights per hour.
Suvarnabhumi Airport is also the main connector for international arrivals to domestic flights serving tourist destinations throughout Thailand such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. Domestic flights are operating as per normal between Suvarnabhumi Airport and all other airports in Thailand.
Transportation from the airport into central Bangkok including taxis, buses and the Airport Rail Link have not been affected by the floods and are operating normally. Highways from the airport to tourist destinations southeast of Bangkok such as Pattaya, Rayong and Ko Chang are open. Travelers should allow additional time to travel to the airport due to traffic congestion.
Don Mueang Airport, the old international airport, has been closed until November 1st due to flooding. The two domestic airlines operating from Don Mueang have temporarily switched their operations to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
State Railway of Thailand and inter-provincial bus services:
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and inter-provincial bus services are operating as per usual in areas that are not affected by the floods. In Bangkok and other areas affected by the floods, the SRT and inter-provincial bus service operators are adjusting their routes to best serve passengers given the disruptions caused by the flooding. Travelers are advised to check in advance with these operators and may want to consider flying to their destinations within Thailand.
BMA Announcement on Flooding Situation in Bangkok: http://www.bangkokgis.com/flood/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=215:announcement-on-flooding-situation-in-bangkok-26-oct-2011&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=65
Thai- language sources:
English-language newspapers offering continuous updates on the flooding situation:
Bangkok Post: http://www.bangkokpost.com
The Nation: http://www.nationmultimedia.com
Useful Contact Numbers :
TAT Call Center: 1672
Thai Airways: 02-356-1111
Bangkok Airways: 02-265-8777
Air Asia: 02-515-9999
Nok Air: 1318 or 02-900-9955
Orient Thai Airlines: 1126
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Call Center: 1690
Transport Co.,Ltd. Hotline: 1490
Mahan Town office :
140/65 ITF Tower, 27th Floor, Silom Road Suriyawongse, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 231 6961 (auto) Fax: +66 2 231 6967