Breaking News: Central Bangkok not flooded
Well maybe it isn’t exactly breaking news, but there seems to be a lot of questions about the flooding in Thailand and especially in Bangkok. And since I just arrived here yesterday from Chiang Mai in the north (buses running normally again), I figured that I’ll post photos of what it is actually like in central Bangkok right now. These photos were taken yesterday 2nd of November and the situation is as described at least right now on the 3rd of November (that is today). This seriously has to be the most up-to-date post I’ve ever written.
Khao San Road yesterday, business as usual
Lot of places have actually opted to build an actual wall to protect them
Some have opted for an option that is slightly cheaper and easier to tear down
Some use both the wall and the sand bags
The worst should be over from what we have understood here, but that is no guarantee that things don’t change. But to summarize, there is no flooding in central Bangkok and there hasn’t been any. It’s pretty much business as usual. There are still plenty of people in central Bangkok and I had to check a few guesthouses before I found a room. All the shopping malls are ridicilously busy as usually and the night life at Khao San Road is as crazy as it has always been.
While you might see very dramatic flood scenes on the TV and news, it does not reflect the situation here in central Bangkok. Most areas tourists visit are currently safe from flooding, so the impact on tourists is minimal. You will however see a lot of places prepared for flooding, as you can see in the photos, but there is no actual flooding right now.
Some government buildings are now more difficult to get into
And they even have pumps inside to remove excess water
There are a few impacts the flooding has had. Some of the stores are closed currently following the five day evacuation holiday last week, but majority are still open as normally. One store that seems to be very impacted is 7-eleven. They are out of Coca-Cola and ham&cheese sandwiches! However these items can still be obtained in other places, so do not worry. Other impact is that the canal boats don’t seem to be running. The river express boats which most tourists use are however still running fine.
7-evelen is however impacted by the floods. There doesn't seem to be Coca-Cola or ham and cheese sandwhiches anymore
They have stockpiled on water thou, but it's only one kind
Of course there is the whole political side to the floods. The king refused his palace to be protected from the flood, arguing that the water would just go around it, and it wouldn’t do any good to anybody else. No wonder they like the king here. But there is resentment in the outer provinces of Bangkok, about the suspicion that their neighbourhoods were sacrificed in order to save central Bangkok.
Shopping malls near Siam Square are also protected by the sand bags
But many of them have left entrances open for now
And when I visited the MBK and Siam Square shopping malls, they were still as busy as ever.
Of course central Bangkok is only a very small part of the whole metropolitan area of Bangkok, of which big parts actually are flooded badly. Lots of people have lost their homes and belongings; and it will be a long time before things are back to normal. So I am not trying to say that the flooding isn’t as bad as they say on the news; it is. I am simply trying to encourage tourists not to avoid Thailand because of the floods.
Even banks are protected
Additional stairs have been build for the wall constructs
There are lot of places with piles of sand bags, waiting if they are needed
Subway has opted to have the sandbags inside
Tattoo shops are also prepared
And so are even some clubs at Khao San Road
Thailand is heavily dependent on tourism, and there has been a big drop in number of tourists coming into the country following the floods. So if you are planning a trip to Thailand or you have already booked one, but have been worried about the flooding, stop worrying and come here. Thailand will need all the tourism it can get to rebuild the country!
Have you been impacted by the floods in Thailand?