There are still lots of rumours, gossip and guess-work flying around on forums, international press and on social media sites about the extent of the flooding in Bangkok. I’m going through local news and media over here in Thailand to try and separate the fact from the fiction. There are lots of conflicting messages depending on what you read and who you believe.
Bangkok Flood Risk October 27-31
One thing that flood experts and academics do agree on is that Bangkok is entering a critical period in terms of flood risk. A combination of water from the north and high tides threatens the flood defences of the Thai capital between now and Monday. It looks inevitable that the flooding already seen in outer areas of Bangkok will spread. Nobody can say with absolute certainty what will happen to inner Bangkok, but there is a strong chance that flooding will be seen in a number of areas of the inner districts. Those particularly at risk include areas close to the Chao Phraya River such as Chinatown, Thonburi and Banglamphu, but partial flooding cannot be ruled out in any area. It still isn’t a reason to panic, but if you are going to be in Bangkok just be prepared that you may be getting your feet wet in some areas. Some tourist attractions may also be temporarily closed or difficult to get to depending on how things pan out in the next few days. To be extra safe, look for a hotel close to a Skytrain station which will give you more options for getting about in Bangkok if the floods do enter the inner areas of the city.
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Bangkok Travel Advisories
A number of countries have now issued travel advisories warning against all but essential travel to Bangkok, but in most cases this does not include transit through Bangkok Suvarnabhumi international airport which is still no problem. Please note that in most cases this is an advisory specifically for Bangkok and not the whole of Thailand. For much of Thailand (especially tourist areas) life goes on as normal. If you were planning to stay in Bangkok you can still do so, but it may affect your Thailand travel insurance policy if your government has issued a travel advisory. The decision is yours.
Thailand travel insurance »
Other Areas of Thailand
Flights to destinations elsewhere in Thailand such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Krabi, Phuket and Ko Samui continue to operate normally. If you no longer want to stay in Bangkok over the next week, please note that there are no problems in the other main tourist areas such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, Ko Chang, Ko Samui, Krabi, Pattaya and Phuket. In the case of Hua Hin, Pattaya and Ko Chang, these can all currently be reached by road from Bangkok airport without any problems. For the other destinations I would advise flying because rail and road transport is currently subject to some disruption which could worsen over the next few days. I would also advise booking your internal flights as early as you can. Lots of people are avoiding Bangkok over the next five days (including residents taking advantage of the special holiday) and internal flights to various destinations in Thailand are likely to be extra busy. I would also advise booking accommodation in advance for the same reason.
List of internal airlines in Thailand »
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Advice on bus and train travel in Bangkok and Thailand during the floods »
Alternatives to Flying to Bangkok
I would advise checking with your airline if you are due to arrive in Bangkok in the next week. Some airlines have introduced waiver policies and it is also possible to fly into Thailand avoiding Bangkok via regional airports such as Chiang Mai in the north and Hat Yai and Phuket in the south. Another option is to enter via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur and use a low-cost airline such as Air Asia to fly to Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket, Chiang Mai etc.
Please also read this for more general advice and travel information for Bangkok and Thailand during the current flood problems »