The impact of the floods on tourists visiting Bangkok has been minimal so there is no need to panic if you are due to visit any time soon. Please note that Bangkok covers a vast metropolitan area and the inner part of the city has been mainly clear of any flooding. There has been some limited localized flooding over the weekend and today on a few streets (e.g. parts of Samsen Road) close to the Chao Phraya River to the north of the Banglamphu district. There is potential for some limited overflowing of water in streets close to the river and some canals. However, the main problem areas for Bangkok are presently in residential and industrial areas as opposed to the commercial heart and tourist areas of Bangkok. Things may change, but this is the current situation.
This update has been written at 20.00 local Thai time on October 24 and is written with tourists in mind. For an overall picture of the general situation, please read all of my previous updates on the flood situation in Bangkok and Thailand.
Various media reports have stated that the Chao Phraya express boats have been cancelled from today until November 7. The TAN Network says this is because of existing high water levels on the river and expected high tides in the next week. However, Bangkok Post says the services are postponed because of flooding at the Nonthaburi oil depot which supplies the boats. This is just one example of conflicting information coming out at the moment. In short, I haven’t been able to confirm whether all passenger boat services have been postponed or just certain ones at certain times. Any feedback from people in Bangkok is appreciated and I will update once I know more.
Metro and Skytrain
The Bangkok Skytrain and Metro (underground trains) continue to operate as normal. Some street-level exits at some stations may have sandbags in place or be subject to temporary closure as a precautionary measure.
There is still no northern line service between Bangkok Hualamphong and Chiang Mai because of flooding in the central provinces. The north-eastern line service is reported to be running although services may depart from Makkasan instead of Hualamphong. Southern line train services out of Bangkok are all reported to be running normally.
Buses out of Bangkok are subject to delays, extended journey times and detours because of flooding in the Greater Bangkok area and also further north in Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya and Nakhon Sawan.
There are two airports in Bangkok. The main airport is Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) located in the outer eastern districts of Greater Bangkok. The airport remains unaffected by floods and continues to operate normally for international and domestic flights. Thai officials have given repeated assurances that the airport will not be flooded and have also reiterated that the airport has extensive flood defences in place.
The second airport in Bangkok is Don Muang (DMK) located in the northern suburbs and was used for international flights before Suvarnabhumi was opened. Don Muang is now used for a limited number of domestic flights, principally by low-cost airline, Nok Air. There has been some localized flooding on some roads near Don Muang airport, but the terminal is still accessible and domestic Nok Air flights to and from Don Muang continue to run as normal. However, you should allow for extra time if you are travelling to or from Don Muang. During the current flood crisis in Thailand, Don Muang has been used as a hub for the relief effort.
All hotels in inner Bangkok and the main tourist areas are open and operating as normal. Some hotels may have sandbags outside as a precautionary measure.
All of the main tourist attractions in central Bangkok were open as usual today. This includes the Grand Palace, Wat Pho etc. For some attractions outside the city, there are some localized problems with roads being flooded in specific areas, mainly to the north and east of central Bangkok. You may still be able to visit, but road journeys out of Bangkok may be subject to delay and detours. Please note, I am not a tour operator and I cannot advise on specific tours. Your hotel or tour operator will be able to advise you. The situation is also subject to change on a daily basis.
All of the main malls and shopping areas in central Bangkok continue to operate as normal. At some supermarkets and stores Bangkok residents have been stocking up on essentials like bottled water, noodles etc. The flooding has also affected deliveries so some stores have low stocks of certain goods. Please note however, this is not an issue for tourists to worry about.
If you intend to visit the popular Chatuchak Weekend Market in the northern part of Bangkok, please note that Thai authorities issued a flood warning today for the Chatuchak area so check local news before you travel out there.