Oct 13 2011
As we wrote this post, authorities asked residents in some areas on the outskirts of Bangkok to evacuate after a flood levee reportedly collapsed. TAN Network said on its Twitter feed that the emergency flood centre advised that “the collapse of Banprao floodgate in Samkok, Pathum Thani may bring 1m floodwater to Rangsit, Saimai, Klongluang, Lamlukka; evacuation urged” — but “INNER Bangkok residents [should] rest assured they are still OK.”
However amid some confusion, shortly afterwards on their site they said authorities clarified that the breached levees were being repaired and the situation was under control, though residents around Thammasat Rangsit could see floodwaters a metre deep. It seems the situation for a lot of people is touch and go tonight on Bangkok’s outer suburbs.
Meanwhile Suvarnabhumi airport remains open, with reportedly eight large pumps on site but only two being required to keep everything operational (the airport is built on a flood plain — great work, guys!).
Should you cancel your Thailand trip? As one of our trusty correspondents in inner Bangkok says: “Honestly… not much actually happening here yet!” For what it’s worth — and we are just travellers, not professional anything — we here at Travelfish.org are still maintaining our advice of go ahead and travel, so long as you were not planning to head to one of the specific areas underwater (like Ayutthaya, which is underwater and UNESCO will shortly assess) but do keep a very close eye on the news as things could change quickly.
One thing you can refer to are updates from the Tourism Authority of Thailand — yes, we must say we’re amazed they’re doing something so useful too. Their briefing has just come out for October 13 and can be found here. It includes a list of useful phone numbers mostly transport related as well as train route information. They do note that: “The areas of central Bangkok where tourists normally go are not flooded and fully accessible. Everything continues as normal for both visitors and Bangkok residents in these areas.”
The TAT also says that trips to tourist attractions close to Bangkok, such as Pattaya, Hua Hin, Damnoen Saduak floating market in Ratchaburi, and Amphawa floating market in Samut Songkhram remain unaffected by the floods and open to visitors. Their suggested alternative, if you had your heart set on Ayutthaya, is Sukhothai. They also point out the 23rd Lop Buri Flower and Ornamental Plants Festival has been postponed. They have a full list of provinces unaffected by the flooding so you can plan alternative arrangements if you need to.
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