Before I start writing about Bangkok, I want to just stress the situation in other areas of Thailand for visitors due to visit the country or making plans. All of Thailand’s main tourist areas (with the exception of Ayutthaya) remain open and free from flooding. This includes, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, Krabi, Ko Samui and Ko Chang. All of these locations are experiencing normal weather conditions for the time of year. The whole of Thailand is not under water. However, the flood situation remains serious in the affected areas which include parts of Isaan, the central provinces and areas in and around the Greater Bangkok region.
The main international airport at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (in the eastern suburbs) remains open and operating normally. Roads from the airport into downtown Bangkok were reported to be dry today and free from any flooding.
The airport at Don Muang (northern suburbs), which handles a limited number of domestic flights, has been closed this afternoon. With flood water reaching the Don Muang area, the airport has been closed on safety grounds and as a precautionary measure. Nok Air have suspended services out of Don Muang until November 1 whilst Orient Thai Airways plan to move operations to Suvarnabhumi airport. Don Muang airport has also been serving as a flood relief operations centre and officials say that will continue, but the temporary evacuation shelter looks set to be re-located.
Situation in Central/Inner Bangkok for Tourists
The main tourist areas including Silom, Sukhumvit, Siam Sqaure and Khao San Road continue to be unaffected. There has been some limited localized flooding in some streets close to the Chao Phraya River. Yesterday, the river peaked at its highest level since 1995 and with high tides predicted for October 27-30 the situation remains uncertain. It looks inevitable that the outlying areas of Bangkok are going to get more flooding. Whether the central area of Bangkok will stay dry is not clear, but localized flooding cannot be ruled out in any given area.
Situation in Bangkok for Residents
The Thai government has announced that October 27-31 will be a holiday in Bangkok and other flood-hit provinces. This means that most government offices, schools and some businesses will be closed. Banks are yet to decide whether they will close or not.
With roads flooded around the Bangkok area and some distribution centres hit, deliveries have been affected. This has resulted in temporary shortages of certain goods and sporadic panic-buying in some areas of Greater Bangkok.