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10 November 2011

Essential Thai Flood Information for Foreign Tourists in Thailand


8th November: It seems inevitable now that areas in inner Bangkok will see some form of flooding over the next week or two. Flooding has now reached the Lad Phrao area and around Chatuchak Weekened Market. Some of the floods are heading down the main roads into Bangkok while others are jumping ahead via storm drains. Although the majority of tourist attractions in Bangkok remain open and dry, it might not be a good idea to plan a trip to Bangkok for the immediate future due to the uncertainty. If you do insist on coming then you need to be prepared for anything and keep up with the latest news by using twitter. Other tourist locations in

Follow latest #ThaiFloodEng news on Twitter @RichardBarrow

  • BKK-Chiang Mai trains at 8:30am & 6:10pm. Trains very crowded. Trip takes 5 hours longer than normal
  • NEW: Bangkok Flood Map for Tourists (I will update this daily now with closures)
  • Chatuchak Market was open last week despite floods but most shops were empty
  • Both Safari Park & Marine Park at Safari World are closed due to flooding until 10 November
  • Central Lat Prao closed today due to flooding (4 Nov)
  • Fashion Island mall will close (5 Nov)
  • Asia Highway from Bang Pa-in to Nakhon Sawan & beyond now open (4 Nov)
  • Chaeng Wattana Immigration is open but the area flooded (1 Nov). More info here.
  • Southern Bus Terminal on Borom Ratchani moving to Holland Beer House Rama II (31 Oct) -- Map
  • Holland Beer Rama 2 โรงเบียร์ฮอลแลนด์ พระราม 2
    129/9 หมู่ 6 ถ.พระราม 2 แขวงแสมดำ เขตบางขุนเทียน กรุงเทพฯ 10150
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  • Trains are now running to Chiang Mai via the northeast.
  • For southern Rail Line, go to Hua Lamphong station where there is a bus to Nakhon Pathom and then train south (29 Oct)
  • Thonburi station is open and has trains to Kanchanaburi (29 Oct)
  • Mo Chit will move buses to Southern Bus Terminal if it floods there. It is not flooded yet
  • Southern Bus Terminal is open (31 Oct)
  • New flight schedule for Nok Air at Suvarnabhumi Airport
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market to close 28-30 Oct
  • The Banyan Tree 13th Vertical Marathon has been postponed to 22 January 2012
  • World Film Festival of Bangkok scheduled Nov 4-13 @ Paragon & Esplanade  POSTPONED to Jan 20-27
  • Thai Immigration Cheang Wattana office is open
  • Nok Air and Oriental Thai will no longer fly out of Don Muang due to flooding (24 Oct)
  • Central Pinklao is closed due to floods
  • Bangkok Art and Culture Centre will be temporary closed from 27 -- 31 October 2011 due to the flood situation
  • River Express Boat services are suspended until 7 November due to fuel depot flooded
  • Cross river ferries and long tailed boat tours are operating as normal
  • MRT subway, BTS sky train and Airport Rail Link in Bangkok are operating as normal
  • Some piers and service might be suspended during high tides
  • Museum of Siam is closed until further notice
  • Dream World in Pathum Thani Province is closed until 31st October
  • Future Park Rangsit amd Major Cineplex in Pathum Thani are closed until further notice
  • Siam Park City and Safari World are open as normal
  • All shopping malls in central Bangkok (MBK, Panthip, Paragon, Central World etc.) are open as normal
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market is not flooded yet but floods just to the north
  • Dinner Cruises are operating as normal
  • The Royal Barge Procession has been cancelled.
  • The Royal Flora fair in Chiang Mai has been postponed until December
  • Water levels in each district of Bangkok at the Royal Irrigation Department: http://dds.bangkok.go.th/scada
  • Maps in English for risk areas in Bangkok
  • English news services such as The Nation, Bangkok Post, MCOT and NNT
  • Thailand news search at Thailand Scribe
The flooding situation 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 Koh Chang have not been affected by the floods. Tourist destinations in the south of Thailand including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, Hat Yai and Phang-Na; and in the north including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai, also have not been affected by the floods.
Flood waters in Ayutthaya and some other central provinces have begun to subside, although many areas are not yet fully accessible. Tourist attractions in Ayutthaya will reopen once they have been restored.

Events relating to Loy Krathong, an ancient tradition that has been celebrated since the Sukhothai Era, will still take place in many locations throughout Thailand including Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Hat Yai and Surat Thani during November 8th to 10th. Some Loy Krathong events have been cancelled in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Suphanburi due to the flood.
Situation in Bangkok

Areas flooded in the 1,568 square km Bangkok Metropolitan Area includes suburbs in the east and west, the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and districts in the northern part of the city. The government has advised residents to leave these areas until the flood water can be drained. In central Bangkok, businesses, hotels, shops and tourist attractions remain open as per normal in areas including: Khao San Road, Ratchaprasong (Central World area), Phetchaburi Road, Sathorn, Ploenchit/ Chidlom, Siam Square/ MBK/ Siam Paragon, Pratunam, Silom/ Surawongse, Rama 1 Road, Sukhumvit Road/ The Emporium, Rama 4 Road, Yaowarat (Chinatown)

For a list of tourist attractions now closed, please visit Bangkok Flood Map for Tourists
The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are operating normally. Taxis and tuk tuks are available as per usual. 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, as have most water-related tourist activities.
Given the rapidly changing nature of the flooding situation in Bangkok, the TAT advises travelers to carefully consider visiting tourist attractions close to the Chao Phraya River as they may be in areas affected by flooding, which could limit access. Visitors should also check multiple sources of information to make an informed decision about whether they should visit central Bangkok at the present time.

TRANSPORTATION

Airports
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 800 flights per day. 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 to and 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 Koh Chang are open. Travelers should allow additional time to travel to the airport due to traffic congestion.
Don Mueang Airport, the old international airport, is closed due to flooding. The two domestic airlines operating from Don Mueang have temporarily switched their operations to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
A “Tourist Assistance Center” is set up on the 3rd floor of Airport Rail Link’s Makkasan Station, open between 06:00-18:00 hours, to facilitate tourists’ transport from hotels in central Bangkok to the airport. The TAT and Thai Hotels Association (THA) are providing free transportation from hotels to Makkasan Station. The Tourist Police will assist tourists at Makkasan Station and at the airport. Tourists who would like to use this service can contact the Tourist Assistance Center via the TAT Call Center at 1672, or the Tourist Police at 1155.

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. Inter-provincial buses from Bangkok to southern provinces are leaving from a temporary station with shuttle services to and from the Southern Bus Terminal, also known as Sai Tai Mai.
Train services to northeastern Thailand are operating as per normal. Train services to the northern provinces are operating between Hua Lamphong station in central Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Trains to the north are being rerouted around flooded areas, adding approximately two hours of travel time. Train services to the southern provinces are operating from Hua Lamphong station or Nakhon Pathom if required due to flooding in Bangkok’s western suburbs. The SRT is providing shuttle bus services between Hua Lamphong station and Nakhon Pathom when needed. Travelers are advised to check in advance with these operators and may want to consider flying to their destinations within Thailand. Here is a view of the flooding from a helicopter. This YouTube video was taken on October 25, 2011 from a Thai Army Bell helicopter as it flies from central Bangkok north and west over the Chao Phya River, showing flooded areas of Nonthaburi and Ban Bua Thong and on further out to Ayutthaya. Then the helicopter heads back on the east side of the river, where it's much drier. (The video is just over 14 minutes long and provides a good perspective).

Traffic cameras across greater Bangkok (188 available when last checked), (not live but with time exposures every five or ten minutes covering the past half hour or so). Keep an eye on traffic and flooding here. In Thai and English

There is also a link at the traffic camera site to this Twitter page (in Thai) of the flood situation here. Or you can search Twitter by using the hash tag #ThaiFloodEng to look for the most recent tweets in English.

The ARRL web site has coverage of the response by Thai amateurs to the floods here.

A superb collection of flood images can be viewed here at The Atlantic here. (But their headline may be a little optimistic!)

A good article in Time World with the headline "Bangkok's Pain: Floodwater Surges Into the Thai Capital" dated October 29, 2011

Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) map of flooded areas in Bangkok (Place names in English and Thai and detailed information in Thai).

If you have any links you would like to recommend, please send an email to Tony.waltham(AT)gmail.com.

Tourists planning to travel to the provinces affected by the floods are advised to check the latest weather forecasts for their destination and confirm arrangements with the transportation providers with which they will be travelling. Tourists can call the TAT Information Line at 1672 to check local conditions, or visit the Thailand Meteorological Department web site at http://www.tmd.go.th/en for updated weather forecasts.

This page was created on October 17, 2011 by Tony, HS0ZDX. Last update: November 4, 2011

- RAST