Situation Update: Flooding in Thailand

Issued at Bangkok at 15:30 (GMT+7) on 09 November 2011

The flooding situation in Thailand is mainly affecting the central provinces along the Chao Phraya River including Bangkok. Flood waters are subsiding in Ayutthaya. Other popular tourist destinations in the central region including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Ko Chang have not been affected by the floods. Tourist destinations in the south of Thailand including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Phang-Nga; 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 in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Suphanburi have been scaled down to reflect the traditional elements of the festival due to the flood.

In some areas, tourists may find that there are occasional shortages of consumer products that are in high demand such as local brands of water and locally-bottled beer. These products are replenished periodically. Imported products including beer and bottled water are widely available.

Situation in Bangkok

Areas flooded in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area include suburbs in the east and west, the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and districts in the northern part of the city.

In central Bangkok, businesses, hotels, shops and tourist attractions remain open as per normal in areas including:

  • Khao San Road
  • Phetchaburi Road
  • Ploenchit/ Chidlom
  • Pratunam
  • Rama 1 Road
  • Rama 4 Road
  • Ratchaprasong (Central World area)
  • Sathorn
  • Siam Square/ MBK/ Siam Paragon
  • Silom/ Surawongse
  • Sukhumvit Road/ The Emporium
  • Yaowarat (Chinatown)

Given the rapidly changing nature of the flooding situation in Bangkok, visitors should check multiple sources of information to make an informed decision about whether they should visit central Bangkok at the present time.

The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are operating normally at this time. Some MRT stations have closed certain entrances as a precaution. Visitors are advised to check with the BTS and MRT regarding the current status of their operations. Taxis and tuk tuks are available although the number in service is reduced. 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.

Transportation

Airports
Bangkok is served by two airports. Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main international gateway to Thailand, remains open. It has considerable flood protection measures in place. Suvarnabhumi Airport is 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 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 Ko Chang are open.

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 to facilitate tourists’ transport from hotels in central Bangkok to the airport. The TAT and the 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 mainly from Nakhon Pathom due to flooding in Bangkok’s western suburbs. The SRT is providing shuttle bus services between Hua Lamphong station and Nakhon Pathom. Travelers are advised to check in advance with these operators and may want to consider flying to their destinations within Thailand.

Information sources:

English-language sources:
The Government Public Relations Department:
http://thailand.prd.go.th

Thai- language sources:

Flood Relief Operation Center (FROC):

http://www.floodthailand.net/

BMA Flood Control Center:
http://203.155.220.231/intranet/Forecast/fcc.htm

BMA Announcement on Flooding Situation in Bangkok:
http://www.bangkokgis.com/flood/index.php?option=com_content&view=category
&id=1&Itemid=65

Airports of Thailand:
http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/index_en.php

State Railway of Thailand:
http://www.railway.co.th/home/Default.asp?lenguage=Eng

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 (8:00 – 20:00 hrs, everyday)
Tourist Assistance Center: +66 (0) 2283-1500 and
(0) 2356 0655
Tourist Police: 1155
Suvarnabhumi Airport Call Center: +66 (0) 2132 1888
Thai Airways: +66 (0) 2356 1111
Bangkok Airways: +66 (0) 2265 8777
Air Asia: +66 (0) 2515 9999
Nok Air: 1318 or +66 (0) 2900 9955
Orient Thai Airlines: 1126
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Call Center: 1690
Transport Co.,Ltd. Hotline:
(Inter-provincial bus service)
1409
BTS Call Center +66 (0) 2617 6000
MRT Call Center +66 (0) 2624 5200

TAT’s official Web site for flooding information: www.thailandtourismupdate.com