The Loy Krathong festival, an ancient tradition that has been celebrated since the Sukhothai Era, will still take place in many locations throughout Thailand including Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, and Tak during November 8th to 10th. Some Loy Krathong events have been cancelled in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Suphanburi due to the flooding.
The flooding in Thailand is mainly affecting the central provinces along the Chao Phraya River including Bangkok and Ayutthaya. Other popular tourist destinations in the central region including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Ko Chang have not been affected by the floods. Provinces in the south of Thailand 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.
Most areas of central Bangkok where to tourists normally go are not flooded at this time. The Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok, is at a higher-than-normal level. This is causing some flooding at tourist attractions that are close to the river, as well as some parts of Chinatown, especially during high tide periods.
Within the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, several suburbs and areas adjacent to the Chao Phraya River are experiencing flooding. As these areas are largely residential and industrial zones, they are not normally visited by tourists. The government has asked residents to leave these areas due to the flooding.
According to government officials, the peak period for flooding due to a combination of high seasonal tides and the large volume of water flowing from the northern provinces through the Bangkok area ended on October 31. They have stated that the chance of flooding in central Bangkok, which has so far not been affected except in some areas close the Chao Phraya River during high tides, is now greatly reduced. In central Bangkok, businesses, hotels, and tourist attractions remain operating as per normal.
The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are operating normally. Taxis and tuk tuks are available as per usual. 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.
Given the rapidly changing nature of the flooding situation in Bangkok, the TAT advises travelers to carefully consider visiting tourist attractions close to the Chao Phraya River as they may be in areas affected by flooding, which could limit access. Visitors should also check multiple sources of information to make an informed decision about whether they should visit Bangkok at the present time.
Bangkok is served by two airports. Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main gateway to Thailand with 120 international and domestic airlines, remains open. It has considerable flood protection measures in place and is operating normally, handling around 800 flights per day. Suvarnabhumi Airport is also 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 all 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. Travelers should allow additional time to travel to the airport due to traffic congestion.
Don Mueang Airport, the old international airport, was still closed till yesterday due to flooding. The two domestic airlines operating from Don Mueang have temporarily switched their operations to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
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 from Hua Lamphong station or Nakhon Pathom if required due to flooding in Bangkok’s western suburbs. The SRT is providing shuttle bus services between Hua Lamphong station and Nakhon Pathom when needed. Travelers are advised to check in advance with these operators and may want to consider flying to their destinations within Thailand.
The Government Public Relations Department: http://thailand.prd.go.th/
BMA Announcement on Flooding Situation in Bangkok: http://www.bangkokgis.com/flood/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=256:announcement-on-flooding-situation-in-bangkok-oct-30-2011-11pm&catid=34:information-in-english&Itemid=90
Thai- language sources:
Flood Relief Operation Center (FROC): http://www.floodthailand.net/
BMA Flood Control Center: http://188.8.131.52/intranet/Forecast/fcc.htm
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: 02-283-1500 and 02-356-0655
Tourist Police: 1155
Suvarnabhumi Airport Call Center: 02-132-1888
Thai Airways: 02-356-1111
Bangkok Airways: 02-265-8777
Air Asia: 02-515-9999
Nok Air: 1318 or 02-900-9955
Orient Thai Airlines: 1126
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Call Center: 1690
Transport Co.,Ltd. Hotline: 1490
(Inter-provincial bus service)