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. 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.
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:
|The Royal Flora Ratchaphruek Fair 2011 opens in Chiang Mai on November 9 and runs until February 2012|
|Phimai Festival, from November 9 – 13, at Phimai Historical Park in Nakhon Ratchasima province|
|The “5th Thailand International Balloon Festival” in Chiang Mai from November 25 – 27|
Useful Contact Numbers:
|TAT Call Centre:||1672|
|Thai Airways:||+66 (0) 2356 1111|
|Bangkok Airways:||+66 (0) 2265 8777
|AirAsia:||+66 (0) 2515 9999|
|Nok Air:||1318 or +66 (0) 2900 9955|
|State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Call Centre:||1690|
|Transport Co.,Ltd. Hotline:
(inter-provincial bus service)
- Update for Bangkok
The areas of central Bangkok where tourists normally go are not flooded and fully accessible. Everything continues as normal for both visitors and Bangkok residents in these areas.Most of the flooding now taking place 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.Some outlying suburban districts of the Bangkok Metropolitan Area outside of these flood defenses are experiencing localized flooding. 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.
The Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok, is at a higher-than-normal level with some localised flooding along certain sections of its banks. The river’s water flow is being carefully managed by government officials to prevent broader flooding. The area around Suvarnabhumi Airport has considerable flood protection measures in place. The airport has not been affected by floods and continues to operate normally.
According to the Royal Irrigation Department, some low-lying areas in 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. Visitors can check water levels in each district of Bangkok at the Royal Irrigation Department:http://dds.bangkok.go.th/scada
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.
- 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.
- Update for other popular tourist destinations
Activities affected by flooding:
The following national park remains open; however, water-related activities are not allowed: Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Ratchasima
Major tourist destinations in the central region not affected by the floods include:
Hua-Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan Kanchanaburi Ko Chang, Trat Pattaya, Chonburi Ratchaburi Rayong
No provinces in the south have been affected by the floods.
Chumphon Phuket Krabi Ranong Nakhon Si Thammarat Songkhla Narathiwat Satun Pattani Surat Thani Phang Nga Trang Phatthalung Yala