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Floods in southern Thailand

  • SBE

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    It's been raining almost continuously for the past week on both coasts. Five people have died in the most severe flooding for the last 30 years (according to the Nation anyway). Transport is difficult with roads cut off due to landslides, broken bridges and flooding. More info here:


    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2011/03/28/national/Mid-South-hit-by-floods-30151915.html

    #1 Posted: 28/3/2011 - 13:06

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  • chriswotton

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    Flights to Samui also cancelled because of it, and I think I read somewhere earlier today that Surat Thani airport's runway is 30cm underwater.

    #2 Posted: 29/3/2011 - 03:28

  • SBE

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    The rain isn't abating, it's getting worse and is constant. It's also much cooler than normal ... it should be the hottest time of year but right now it feels more like Scotland.


    More detailed info about the floods here.

    http://www.mcot.net/cfcustom/cache_page/187609.html

    #3 Posted: 29/3/2011 - 12:48

  • chriswotton

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    Are you in the south, SBE?

    #4 Posted: 29/3/2011 - 12:55

  • SBE

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    Yes, and I've never seen weather like this in March! Currently debating whether I should get back to BKK while I still can as I have a flight in a few days and the rain shows no signs of letting up.

    #5 Posted: 29/3/2011 - 13:59

  • chriswotton

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    It's so weird - like you say, it should be roasting in the run up to Songkhran! I hear BKK is pretty cold too, but at least you'd have shot of the rain hampering your travel plans!

    #6 Posted: 29/3/2011 - 14:08

  • laurenladky

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    In Phuket it has been raining non-stop for five days and most travelers are stuck at their respective beaches as transport by motorbike is too dangerous on the steep mountains. Just spoke with a friend on Koh Tao and they are not running ferries til Thursday. Her dive resort was destroyed and she is now up in the hills sleeping in some resorts lobby. Let's hope these skies clear soon!

    #7 Posted: 29/3/2011 - 15:03

  • douluvme49

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    same here in Krabi. 3 feet of water on the roads. Still raining.

    #8 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 09:06

  • KirstyB

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    Ko Phangan is the same - solid rain and storms for almost a week now - have had patches of an hour or so without rain over the past 12 hours so hope that it is abating but raining again now quite hard! No boats for 3 days and so many people stranded, long outages on mobile network and just got power back after a 36 hour cut. Never seen it so bad - not even in the rainy season!

    #9 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 10:03

  • SBE

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    Does anyone know if buses are still running out of Chumphon? Looks like there's a lot of flooding there too.

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2011/03/29/national/Flood-situation-gets-worse-in-mid-South-30152005.html

    #10 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 11:21

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  • Captain_Bob

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    Many backpackers arriving in Chiang Mai lately (finally got sunny again today) running away from the rainy south. Take care folks.

    Funky weird weather this year
    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/sohemi/sohemiloops/vsmtsatw.html

    #11 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 19:48

  • worldbound

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    and they say climate change isn't real...

    #12 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 20:04

  • worldbound

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    it isn't affecting Pattaya is it?

    #13 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 20:45

  • RossiRich87

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    Currently on Koh Lanta, where in comparison, we have been left fairly unscathed. It has rained heavly like most parts, but the rain has not caused too much of a problem.

    I have a bus booked for tommorrow morning to take me to Krabie and then a boat to take me onto Phi Phi. Im currently deliberating as to weather this is a good idea or not. I cant find much info about the conditions on Phi Phi and the last thing I wont to do is find my self travelling into the chaos.

    Any suggestions.

    #14 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 20:47

  • chriswotton

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    SBE - not heard about buses to/from Chumphon , but I know one train headed for the south got as far as Chumphon, where it stopped, while others headed even only to Chumphon were suspended before they even had a chance to leave Bangkok.

    Worldbound - as far as I know it's only affecting the south rather than the east. There's been no flooding mentioned to people I've been talking to in Pattaya, though it is still unseasonably cold and rainy there.

    #15 Posted: 30/3/2011 - 20:48

  • Louweazel

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    Hi all - firstly, I hope those of you stuck in the bad weather are ok and safe, if not dry!

    Do you think it is showing any sign of easing up locally? reports in the UK are mixed: I am due to fly to Bangkok in circa 3 weeks time (25 April) and had planned on heading to both Andaman and Gulf Coasts. Hate to sound like a panic type person but wondering if it is worth rescheduling my trip now whilst I can without losing any flight money, or hold tight and hope the storms have passed by then? As this trip was ourely to catch up with old friends and relax in the sun, not keen on constant rain and potential inability to get anywhere.

    Any thoughts really appreciated.

    Stay safe.

    #16 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 00:01

  • chriswotton

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    Hi Louweazel - I'm not in-country at the moment and agree that the reports from the UK are mixed. I guess it's difficult to know what it's going to be like three weeks from now - my gut instinct would be to say it's likely it'll have passed by then, but then they were initially only expecting the bad weather to last a couple of days, and that was a over week ago...

    #17 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 00:29

  • Louweazel

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    Yup my gut from previous rainy seasons is that it will certainly pass but as you say, it has lasted over a week now and things seem to be showing little sign of clearing (according to reports here...). As I was just looking for a chilled couple of weeks in the sun am reluctant to head out if things are still bad, and my airline policy is that a refund is only possible 21 days in advance :( Decisions, decisions. Any advice from anyone in S.Thailand would be great.

    #18 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 01:13

  • Captain_Bob

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    Good Samui-based weather blog with very recent photos some vids and insights into what's going on:
    http://samui-weather.blogspot.com

    Thoughts (not promises) on whether to re-schedule an upcoming trip: This system is predicted by various sources to disperse next week so maybe hold off making any knee-jerk travel modifications for a few more days. Having stared at the weather behaviour of this region for several years now I can say A. odds are quite reasonable that there will be sunshine on either coast and things back to "normal" a couple weeks from now, and B. this is the weirdest weather pattern I've ever seen here (expats and regular visitors I've spoken with lately agree).

    #19 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 01:26

  • Louweazel

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    Thanks so much - yes, I was planning on not making any changes until the last minute but as my flight was fairly steep I didn't want to not consider rescheduling. I really hope it clears up, everyone is safe and that I can get over - it's been a few years since I visited but I love Thailand :)

    #20 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 01:36

  • busylizzy

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    TravelHappy have put up a page with latest breaking news updates which includes lots of weather-related reports: http://travelhappy.info/breaking-thailand-news/.

    #21 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 02:15

  • SBE

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    Woohoo! There's been no rain for a whole hour!!!! Still very overcast, dripping trees and a sea of mud but at least you don't get drenched every time you step outdoors. Seems a bit warmer too, have discarded a few layers of (damp) clothes.

    @RossiRich... it may be too late (sorry phone signal and internet access here is very patchy as the transmitters are solar powered) but if I were you I'd stay put. From what you say, Lanta seems less affected than Krabi, probably best to wait for the chaos to subside a bit if you can.

    #22 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 10:05

  • busylizzy

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    "have discarded a few layers of (damp) clothes"


    A few layers? How cold has it been?! Sorry your holiday is ending on such a wet note...

    #23 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 13:58

  • nymeria

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    people... you are certainly scaring me! i hope you guys are all okay!! i've been frantically searching the web for a while now since i'm making my first trip to thailand next week! and all i was hearing is bad news!! but thanx sbe! your good report is getting my hopes up! hope it gets sunnier (and drier) soon!

    #24 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 14:56

  • CrankyCarrot

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    Phuket has been drenched too ...but today it's finally letting up a bit.

    My street is a total nightmare to negotiate at the best of times as it's full of potholes, but rain makes it almost impossible.

    Take a look at the 3rd pic down and you'll see what we're dealing with here:
    http://crankycarrot.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/from-pot-holes-to-plot-holes/

    Picture driving down that road on a motorbike in a downpour. I can't believe I'm not dead, but I had places to be so I drove through the rain from Patong to Karon anyway... carefully and slowly. Family Mart and 7/11 sold out of raincoats too, adding to the overall suckage.

    Now finally they're dumping gravel in some of the holes, but it's a bit late for a few grazed knees (and broken necks) out there.

    Welcome to paradise!

    #25 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 15:44

  • tezza

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    Seems to me ol' La Nina is kicking in with a vengeance this year.

    #26 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 18:43

  • laurenladky

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    Hi Rossi - Skies finally took a rest today in Phuket. I even saw a few slivers of blue ski! So, you should be set for your PP trip. I hope the skies stay clear for you!

    #27 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 19:10

  • Louweazel

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    I am glad to hear it is showing signs of clearing... not just for my own selfish needs but for you all stuck indoors or out shivering in damp layers! Has a lot of damage been caused?

    #28 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 19:27

  • lmo

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    Hi Everyone,

    My friend and I will be flying to Krabi from Cambodia on April 8 and then going to Phi Phi Don from the 11th through the 14th. After that we will be spending about a week in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

    It hasn't been easy to get reliable information about the damage caused by the floods, and we are not sure if we should try to revise our plans while we still have time.

    Any advice or help would be much appreciated.

    Best,

    Leticia

    #29 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 22:43

  • jskiv07

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    Blogs are certainly the most reliable place for some honest news. The papers and websites in the UK seem to be exaggerating the hell out of these floods.
    Me and my girlfriend have planned to be in Koh Phangnan on the 17th April– is everything ok around these parts? I am guessing things should be back to normal by then???

    Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

    James

    #30 Posted: 31/3/2011 - 23:28

  • rigmah

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    Does anyone know how this nasty weather will effect the Full Moon Party? I am heading over to Koh Phangan on 4/16 and hoping that the bungalow I reserved is still intact and the FMP is still on schedule.

    Please post if anyone has information. Thanks!

    #31 Posted: 1/4/2011 - 06:08

  • Captain_Bob

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    ^^rigmah the full moon is scheduled for April 18 and I can pretty much guarantee it will still be full despite the recent floods ;-)

    #32 Posted: 1/4/2011 - 09:34

  • CrankyCarrot

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    Been relatively dry in Phuket over the past couple of days, with only minor drizzle. At least in Patong.

    And somebody must have gotten in the councils ear about the abominable state of the road behind Jungceylon because it's been fixed now ... sort of.

    Too bad they didn't do anything until it got really bad - I've been woken up by the sound of bikers smashing into the ground, followed by prolonged wailing more than a few times in the middle of the night.

    #33 Posted: 1/4/2011 - 18:27

  • SBE

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    Hmm, the rain has eased these last couple of days but things still don't look too good in Krabi . I just saw this in today's Bangkok Post.

    A 220-metre-long bridge to Krabi across the Tapi River was yesterday damaged by raging waters.
    Without the bridge, transportation to the Andaman coast has been completely cut off.

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/229910/flooded-provinces-on-high-alert

    Did you decide to go to Krabi RossiRich?

    #34 Posted: 2/4/2011 - 08:40

  • CrankyCarrot

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    Besides the odd giant crane rumbling by on its way somewhere outside of town, you wouldn't know anything was wrong in Patong (besides the usual).

    Overcast all day, but dry now.

    #35 Posted: 2/4/2011 - 10:47

  • fox80

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    Just to report for anyone interested...Spent 4 dayis in Ko Lipe and it has been raining a lot (everyday) but luckily we didn't get flooded as the soil is not saturated. Now in Ko Bulone and scattered rains from time to time and heavy clouds but today there is a bit of hope however still less than perfect.

    #36 Posted: 2/4/2011 - 14:16

  • ayesha

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    Hi all !
    I live here on Koh Tao and would like to re-assure all travelers that everything is getting back to normal. The rain has stopped, the wind has dropped and ferry services have resumed.
    Koh Tao is NOT a disaster zone - we had power, water and food - just no ferries. I have been here through many monsoons and although I have never seen this amount of rain dumped in such a short space of time, I have known ferries not run for over a week during monsoon. However this is not monsoon but a freak storm.
    There has been some damage however the majority has been to residential areas and would not effect visitors to the island. In the few places that visitors would see where there has been damage, work is already underway to fix the problems. The inconvenience to visitors will be negligible.
    I have seen this island dust itself off and get back to business as usual very quickly before and this time will be no different. Its business as usual already.

    Koh Tao was warm and sunny today with flat calm waters.

    The FCO lifted their ban on non essential travel to Koh Tao today too.

    http://ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/travel-advice

    #37 Posted: 2/4/2011 - 21:18

  • SBE

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    Hi Ayesha. Could you give some updates on the transport situation as well? The ferries may be running but people still have to get to Chumphon to catch them!

    Are the buses and trains from BKK running normally again? What about people who want to get there overland from the flood stricken areas further south and Malaysia? It's quite hard to glean information from newspaper reports but maybe the travel agents on Ko Tao have some information that would be useful to travellers in the south in general as well as those heading for Ko Tao.

    #38 Posted: 3/4/2011 - 08:45

  • ayesha

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    As far as I am aware there are no problems getting from Bkk to Chumphon and then to the islands by road and ferry ....I think further south is effected but I have had friends arrive from the south and Had Yai .......by bus - a couple of days ago there were two trains operating a day too.

    #39 Posted: 3/4/2011 - 11:07

  • SBE

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    Thanks. Was just wondering how that second bridge collapse in Krabi that I mentioned in #34 was affecting things. Friend of mine tried to get a bus to Ko Lipe and the Malaysian border from Ranong yesterday and was told it was impossible. Hopefully the trains are still running south.

    #40 Posted: 3/4/2011 - 11:16

  • lisasthaila-
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    Hello All!

    I would appreciate some unbiased info on the situation on Koh Tao. I know you can get there but what is the weather and diving like. Is there much damage to infrastructure and the beach? I saw pictures of destroyed roads, bungalows and beach bars. Doubt all that will be fixed by mid- April. I understand that tourism needs to continue but it is my holiday and, selfishly, I don't intend to spend it in a monsoon. I feel really bad for everyone who had to be evacuated....not much fun at all. I also read that the temperatures have been unseasonally low and there could be more rain on the way. Would it be wise to re-route to Trang?

    #41 Posted: 3/4/2011 - 19:27

  • wabisabi

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    hey all! was wondering along with SBE about bridges/conditions in Krabi? arriving in BKK in a few weeks and havent set plans in stone about where we will travel in country, but we were hoping on Krabi.

    fingers crossed and hope everyone is drying out (in the good way) and staying safe.

    kanpai!

    #42 Posted: 4/4/2011 - 07:27

  • KirstyB

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    An update from Surat Thani ...... My advice, if you're on the islands (east) and looking to travel to Bangkok overland is to get a boat which goes via Chumphon rather than Surat Thani. The road north of Chumphon to Bangkok appears to be open but it is further south the problems are. I was also told the railway is now open between Chumphon and Bangkok.

    Yesterday I took the ferry to Surat Thani (tactical error) and found out there is no transport to Bangkok (or anywhere north). Krabi seems to be possible though.

    The airport is operating as normal but many people (including guesthouses who have probably never had so much business in years) will tell you there's no way of getting to the airport. But the army are transporting people by truck from City Hall to the airport. I had to be there at 6am this morning and was given a number and a line to stand in. Just before 6 a convoy of trucks rolled in and soon we were off. Initially I wondered what the problem was but as we reached Phunphin (also where the train station is) it was clear - the town and most of the area north of it until about 500m before the airport is submerged in water. People were casting fishing nets in what were roads. In places where the water is a bit lower you can see the tarmac road is completely chewed up and destroyed. It was sad to see peoples homes lost and livelihoods destroyed. There is talk that or could be 3 or 4 days before the roads are passable again.

    #43 Posted: 4/4/2011 - 08:48

  • CrankyCarrot

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    Sun's back with a vengeance in Phuket. It's beach weather again. Is this supposed to be low season now or shoulder season?

    #44 Posted: 4/4/2011 - 12:36

  • SBE

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    Bangkok Post today warns of more rain (affecting the north too) and has some pictures of Surat Thani and tourists getting taken by convoy truck like KristyB described.

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/230152/north-south-on-high-alert

    I think I misunderstood Ayesha yesterday.... I'd thought she said two trains a day going south towards Malaysia from Chumphon but when I checked online newspapers, yesterday's Nation said they're still only managing to get as far as Surat Thani. Looking at the pictures I'm surprised they're even getting that far! I guess she meant two trains from Bangkok a day.

    #45 Posted: 4/4/2011 - 17:11

  • CrankyCarrot

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    I heard there was more bad weather on the way, but yesterday and today felt like high season - calm before the (next) storm maybe

    #46 Posted: 4/4/2011 - 18:55

  • CrankyCarrot

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    I mean seriously, you wouldn't know there was a torrential downpour around here last week - back to beach weather now

    I really missed my daily dip :)

    #47 Posted: 4/4/2011 - 22:47

  • nickolt

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    Does anyone know of the situation in Phi Phi/koh lipe, basically the Andaman side of Thailand ? I have been reading conflicting reports on the flooding there, and whether or not things are back to normal from a tourist point of view. We are going to be spending the next few days in Koh Samet, and are trying to decide whether to head south after that, or go to Koh Chang.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated, especially from people who live there or have just been there.

    Thanks !

    #48 Posted: 6/4/2011 - 12:37

  • nickolt

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    Does anyone know of the situation in Phi Phi/koh lipe, basically the Andaman side of Thailand ? I have been reading conflicting reports on the flooding there, and whether or not things are back to normal from a tourist point of view. We are going to be spending the next few days in Koh Samet, and are trying to decide whether to head south after that, or go to Koh Chang.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated, especially from people who live there or have just been there.

    Thanks !

    #49 Posted: 6/4/2011 - 12:48

  • SBE

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    I suspect Ko Chang will be very busy...everyone seemed to be heading there to escape the rain last week.

    Can't help with what conditions on the ground are like on Phi Phi or Lipe but as far as transport there is concerned, I noticed there were buses from Phuket , Surat Thani, Trang and Hat Yai in the Chumphon service area last night, so they are getting through somehow. Didn't notice any buses coming from Krabi there though.

    Some of the buses I did see may have been using different routes from normal to avoid the flooded areas. If so, it could mean longer than usual journey time. I don't know, just guessing, best to ask a local travel agent or the bus companies for details.

    AFAIK buses to Phuket from Bangkok are now running normally. You could always get to Phi Phi from Phuket by ferry if the road isn't practicable. As for getting to Lipe you could look at flight options south from Phuket if going there overland is still problematic.

    #50 Posted: 6/4/2011 - 17:05

  • stephandgra-
    nt

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    Hi all,

    Girlfriend and I have about 3 weeks left in SE Asia. We've done the whole normal route, seen Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, northern Thailand but not southern
    Thailand. We wanted to end our 3 month trip relaxing on the southern Thai islands/beaches. It's pretty difficult to get honest opinions on whats been going on down there. We just got into Koh Chang tonight. And we wanna know if it is worth while heading to the south with all that has happened (or maybe still is)??? Or would heading south just ruin the end of our trip?? I know there's a ton of islands/beaches down there; were they all hit hard or have some of them escaped the damage?? Not really picky as to which ones we go to just would like to end our trip relaxing on the beaches. Or maybe we should just stay in Koh Chang until we fly home??? In info and opinions are appreciated but would really like to hear from anyone in southern Thailand right now.

    Thanks, Steph and Grant

    #51 Posted: 7/4/2011 - 23:17

  • nymeria

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    hi everyone!
    i'm heading to koh samui on wednesday and will be in bangkok from tomorrow.. can anyone please enlighten me as to the weather situation?? i am from sa and we dont have a clue what's going on over there.. any news would be appreciated!
    thanx! lida

    #52 Posted: 8/4/2011 - 13:35

  • laurenladky

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2011
    Posts: 32

    Steph and Grant - Hope you are joining Koh Chang in the North but I am happy to suggest to head to Koh Chang in the South! The skies have opened up but I can't really suggest doing Koh Samui (unless you are flying) or Koh Phangnan as I am not sure what the roads are like in and around Surat Thani. You could also head to Koh Lipe and the quieter islands surrounding it.

    Nymeria - Weather is fine. As I told Steph and Grant, I am not sure about the roads around Surat Thani. Are you flying to Samui? If so - have a great trip! :) Sorry I am not able to suggest anything about the roads.

    #53 Posted: 9/4/2011 - 16:56

  • chriswotton

    Joined Travelfish
    7th September, 2008
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 91
    Total reviews: 9
    Places visited:
    At least 50

    I have Thai tour guide friends who returned to Bangkok from Koh Pha Ngan via Don Sak yesterday (on the way down they went via Chumphorn, presumably as Don Sak was unreachable by road). I don't know whether they were delayed or not, but certainly they made it.

    #54 Posted: 9/4/2011 - 17:45

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