While there is still flooding in Bangkok’s suburbs, central Bangkok remains wholly dry and Suvarnabhumi Airport remains fully operational and the threat to central Bangkok is now over. Travel advisories issued by other countries governments (e.g. the British Foreign Office) have been lifted
It would seem that the worst of the Bangkok flooding is over and that there is no longer any threat of central Bangkok – the area frequented by tourists – being affected by flooding. Bangkok’s main airport, Suvarnabhumi, continues to operate normally and the road into central Bangkok is free of any flooding, as it has been throughout the crisis. Bangkok’s MRT Subway stations and Bangkok shops are now removing their barriers and sandbags, a clear sign that the flooding threat is considered to be over. Besides the sandbags and the continued absence of soda water and some brands of beer from supermarket shelves (don’t panic – bars and restaurants still have a good supply) you would not really know central Bangkok has just had a narrow miss with the worst flooding in 50 years.
As such, central Bangkok has returned pretty much to normal and tourists have little to worry about. Bottled water is now easily available from all 7-11s again (it became quite scarce for a couple of weeks) and pretty much all tourist attractions are open. Indeed, there is already a lot of tourists in Bangkok and there have been record numbers arriving at Bangkok Airport. The British Foreign Office recently lifted their travel advisory against Bangkok and other governments will no doubt follow suit shortly.
Trains and buses are running normally on most routes out of Bangkok to the rest of the country, although there are some diversions, so when booking bear that in mind. It should be noted that the other major tourist areas of Thailand are free of any flooding – Pattaya and Hua Hin, as well as the islands of Koh Samui, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi etc.
The clean-up operation in Ayutthaya of the ancient temples continues apace and the first coachloads of tourists returned last week as virtually all the temples are open again, even if the ground is somewhat muddy in places. The best way for tourists to help those affected by the floods is simply to visit areas like Ayutthaya – the money tourists spend is what will directly help a lot of locals get their businesses and their normal lives back together again.
While the situation seems to be stabilising, the Bangkok suburbs that have been badly affected by the floods are still submerged and there is still a lot of water to be processed through to the sea. Therefore it’s prudent for visitors to Bangkok to still continue to check the news daily just in case the situation changes – it’s unlikely that central Bangkok will suddenly come under threat again but frankly, it’s better to stay informed. Hopefully Bangkok will not get any more bad news. In the meantime – if you put off travelling to Thailand, now’s the time to come.