Nov 04 2011
The slowest of all disasters, the flooding in Bangkok continues to creep its way southward, muscling its way into what constitutes central Bangkok. The spring tides (cyclical tides that are higher than normal) have abated for the time being; in many communities along the Chao Phraya River the cycle of inundation followed by drainage has ceased. This type of flooding was responsible for the dramatic images of water flooding the area around the Grand Palace — quick but short lived.
The flood water to watch now is the mass poised above (and around) Bangkok. It needs to go towards the sea, but unfortunately more than 11 million people live in the way. The government is trying to drain the water around the city or through its canals, but it’s not working out that well, as you can see from this flood concern map.
For travellers, the main area to keep an eye on for now is the Chatuchak area in northern Bangkok, home to both the famous Chatuchak market (still open this weekend) and Mo Chit bus station, with services to northern Thailand. While the bus station is on high enough ground to not flood, the access roads to the station are not. A plan to move services to Suvarnabhumi has been mooted, but as of today no decision has been made.
The Southern bus station, in Thonburi, has already been relocated to Holland Beer Brewery on Rama II Road.
Rail service to the south has been affected by flooded tracks and there are only six departures a day from Hualampong station — passengers transfer out of Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom by bus before continuing on by rail. Trains are still running to the north and the northeast; more information is available from the State Railway of Thailand.
To keep an eye on the situation, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has a dedicated website (but you might want to check the publication dates of their news — it can be out-of-date).
As we have repeatedly mentioned, be sure to check with your government’s travel advice as well (although it’s normally very, very conservative, it’s a good starting point). Our recommendation at this point is that if you are after a visit to Bangkok, it’s still accessible and open for business. Drinking water is available, but there are supply chain interruptions that affect its availability periodically. Keep an eye on things as the situation is changing, at a slow but steady pace. If Bangkok was never your first love, transit on, traveller.
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