Over the past several weeks, seasonal rains that are heavier than usual have resulted in widespread flooding in Thailand. While the flooding is having some impact on tourism, most key tourist destinations and attractions throughout Thailand have not been affected by the floods and almost all remain open. The floods are mainly affecting the provinces in central Thailand and a few provinces in the north and northeast. Provinces in the south of Thailand have not been affected by the floods. Ayutthaya has been the only tourist destination widely affected by the floods, while other provinces where tourists generally go have been slightly impacted.
Major tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Sukhothai, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Pattaya, Ko Chang, Rayong, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, Ko Samui, and all provinces in southern Thailand are experiencing normal weather conditions.
All airports in Thailand, including Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, have not been affected by the floods and are operating as per usual. Suvarnabhumi Airport has considerable flood protection measures in place and officials are monitoring the situation closely.
Tourist destinations in the north, such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, are best accessed by air as some roads and railways in the central provinces are closed due to the floods. Provinces in southern and eastern Thailand remain fully accessible by road and train.
Train services from Bangkok to northern destinations are suspended due to the tracks being flooded. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is offering full refunds on tickets for travelers who want to cancel their trips to destinations where train service is suspended. Train services to other parts of Thailand are available as per normal.
The National Disaster Warning Centre has issued a warning for some provinces in the south of the possibility of flash flooding due to heavy rains expected from October 19th to 21st. This includes Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla.
Tourists planning to travel to the provinces affected by the floods are advised to check the latest weather forecasts for their destination and confirm arrangements with the transportation providers with which they will be travelling. Tourists can call the TAT Information Line at 1672 to check local conditions, or visit the Thailand Meteorological Department web site at http://www.tmd.go.th/en for updated weather forecasts.
Major events going ahead as scheduled include:
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1. Update for Bangkok
Most areas of central Bangkok where tourists normally go are not flooded and fully accessible. There is some flooding in areas along the banks of the Chao Phraya River due to the high level of water. Within the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, most flooding is occurring in outlying residential and industrial zones.
Most of the flooding now taking place in Thailand is in provinces to the north and east of Bangkok. Almost all of the Bangkok Metropolitan Area is protected by a large network of flood walls, levees, canals and drainage tunnels. The city government is using this network to manage the water flow and minimize flooding in the city.
During periods of intensely heavy rain, there is some localized flooding of certain low-lying streets in Bangkok. These conditions are quickly cleared up by municipal work crews and the city’s storm water drainage system.
Some low-lying areas in northern and eastern Bangkok that are outside of the city’s flood protection barriers have experienced rising water, but the flooding is being contained in certain locations.
Day trips and short trips to tourist attractions close to Bangkok, such as Pattaya, Hua-Hin, Damnoen Saduak Floating Marketing in Ratchaburi, and Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram remain unaffected by the floods and open to visitors. Tourists who would like to visit historical attractions can consider Sukhothai Historical Park in Sukhothai.
2. Update for Ayutthaya
The province of Ayutthaya has been widely affected by the floods. This includes Ayutthaya’s inner city island and world heritage sites. Tourist attractions on and outside the island of Ayutthaya have been temporarily closed due to the floods. Due to the disruptions caused by the floods, the TAT recommends that tourists avoid visiting Ayutthaya until the flood water subsides and tourist attractions have reopened.
3. Update for other popular tourist destinations
Information on the impact of the floods is provided for other popular tourist destinations by the following regions within Thailand.
Water levels in some of the flood-affected areas in northern Thailand are subsiding and flood control measures are being relaxed. Most tourist attractions in northern Thailand have not been affected by the floods and are open for visitors. Tourist destinations in the north, such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai, are best accessed by air as some roads and railways in the central provinces are still closed due to the floods.
Major tourist destinations in the north not affected by the floods include:
Several provinces in northeastern Thailand including Buri Ram, Khon Kaen, and Surin have been affected by flooding in low-lying agricultural areas and areas adjacent to major waterways. Localized flooding that occurred in Nakhon Ratchasima due to heavy rains was cleared by the city’s drainage system.
The current flooding is having little impact on tourism as key tourist destinations and attractions in northeast Thailand are not damaged by the floods and remain open.
Major tourist destinations in the northeast not affected by the floods include:
Activities affected by flooding:
Major tourist destinations in the central region not affected by the floods include:
No provinces in the south have been affected by the floods.
A flash flood warning has been issued for provinces in the south including Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla due to heavy rains expected from Oct 19th to 21st.
Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand