Sep 14 2012
Isolated parts of Sukhothai are flooded four days after waters from the Yom River seeped through the city’s levees; however the water is receding, and local guesthouse operators told us Friday that most of the remaining water is in the vicinity of the day market and Wat Sathani east of the river. During an official visit, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reportedly said the entire city will be dry in two days time, but as water makes its way downstream, other parts of central Thailand are bracing for floods.
Phitsanulok, Kampaeng Phet, Uttaradit and Chaiyaphum have also been affected, but as of today travel by bus and train is still possible to/from these cities and Sukhothai. Staff at Old City Guesthouse and Vitoon Guesthouse in old Sukhothai (12 kilometres west of New Sukhothai) near the historical park reported that the UNESCO-listed ruins and surrounding town have remained dry throughout. The historical park and all accommodation in old Sukhothai are open for business.
Popular new Sukhothai guesthouses like TR Guesthouse and Garden House on the western side of the Yom River’s banks have also remained completely dry and accessible from the new Sukhothai bus terminal. Songthaews and trishaws have continued shuttling passengers to the historical park from the pick-up spot west of the river as normal.
As the waters recede up north, Chao Phraya basin communities downstream are expecting the runoff to cause some flooding in the coming days. The Bangkok Post reported today that parts of Ayutthaya province have already flooded, although the city’s historical park remains dry and travel to/from there has been unaffected. Areas of Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Pathum Thani provinces north of Bangkok could all see floods in the coming days, especially if weather forecasts are correct in predicting major rains over the weekend.
The devastating 2011 floods — which were the worst the country has seen in 50 years — are still fresh on the minds of many in central Thailand and Bangkok. The Nation recently reported that government officials are allaying fears, saying “Flooding may hit some areas this year but definitely not on the scale seen in 2011.” Although runoff from the north may affect some parts of Bangkok in the coming weeks, it isn’t expected to affect the vast majority of the city.
Our advice to travellers is this: Enjoy your trip without worrying if you’re already here and don’t consider cancelling a planned Thailand trip due to flooding fears, for now. Do however keep an eye on the situation in central Thailand over the coming weeks.
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