November Travel Update: Thailand

November 11, 2011 by

Local Guides, News & Alerts, Travel Tips

Chao Phraya River in Bangkok

Chao Phraya River in Bangkok

The flooding situation in Thailand is mainly affecting the central provinces along the Chao Phraya River just north of, and including, Bangkok. Other popular tourist destinations in the central region including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Ko Chang have not been affected by the floods. Tourist destinations in the south of Thailand including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Phang-Nga; and in the north including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai 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. In some areas, tourists may find that there are occasional shortages of consumer products that are in high demand such as local brands of water and locally-bottled beer. These products are replenished periodically. Imported products including beer and bottled water are widely available.

As some parts of Highway 35, a major road to the south also known as Rama II Road, may be affected by the flood waters draining to the west of the city, the Transport Ministry is preparing alternate routes between Bangkok and the southern provinces.

Situation in Bangkok
Areas flooded in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area include suburbs in the east and west, the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and districts in the northern part of the city. In central Bangkok, businesses, hotels, shops and tourist attractions remain open as per normal in areas including:

-Khao San Road Ratchaprasong (Central World area)
-Phetchaburi Road Sathorn
-Ploenchit/ Chidlom Siam Square/ MBK/ Siam Paragon
-Pratunam Silom/ Surawongse
-Rama 1 Road Sukhumvit Road/ The Emporium
-Rama 4 Road Yaowarat (Chinatown)

Given the rapidly changing nature of the flooding situation in Bangkok, visitors should check multiple sources of information to make an informed decision about whether they should visit central Bangkok at the present time. The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are currently operating normally, although some MRT stations have closed certain entrances as a precaution. Visitors are advised to check with the BTS and MRT regarding the current status of their operations. Taxis and tuk tuks are available, although the number in service is reduced. 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.

Airports
Bangkok is served by two airport: Suvarnabhumi Airport and  Don Mueang Airport. Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main international gateway to Thailand, remains open due to its considerable flood protection measures in place. Suvarnabhumi Airport is 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 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 also open. Don Mueang Airport, the old international airport, is closed due to flooding. The two domestic airlines operating from Don Mueang have temporarily switched their operations to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

-Irene K.

Irene K. is an experienced Viator guide and offers tours all throughout Bangkok. Learn more about Bangkok Expert Irene.

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Thailand tours and things to do, Thailand attractions, and Thailand travel recommendations, or book a private tour guide in Thailand for a customized tour!

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