Bangkok Floods: Tourists Stay Put In Thai Capital Despite Rising Waters (Pictures)

(Pictures) Tourists Stay Put In Bangkok As Thousands Flee Floods

Flooding has caused thousands of residents to flee Bangkok but many tourists remain, according to reports.

Updating its travel advice to Britons, the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) warned against all but essential travel to the 26 provinces in Thailand affected by flooding.

The British Embassy in Bangkok has cautioned that it will only be able to provide limited assistance to UK nationals during the crisis.

According to the FCO, flights to the tourist resorts of Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui are operating as normal.

Despite pictures of a submerged city making headlines around the world, some tourists are carrying on with their holidays.

Jamie Norman, 42, from Skegness, Lincolnshire, is staying in Ratchadamri district in Bangkok. He told the Telegraph:

"We've been here two weeks and not been affected. We keep hearing about the floods, but have seen nothing. So we thought we'd come and have a look for ourselves. For now we're not worried."

Unsurprisingly, Thai authorities are keen to play down the impact of the flooding on tourists as tourism is a huge part of the country's economy.

The Bank of Thailand has slashed its growth forecasts from 4.1 per cent to 2.6 per cent, while factories and businesses have been forced to close.

'Real' traveller opinions are featured on a website maintained by the tourism authority of Thailand, which give the impression that holidays have been unaffected. Sophia Lambert from the UK is quoted as saying:

Both the grand palace, one of Thailand’s most famous buildings, and the world famous Chatuchak Weekend Market have been forced to close because of the floods. Bangkok’s domestic airport has also shut, while many of the 1500 evacuees that were sheltering at the government relief centre there have now been moved to the international airport of Suvarnabhumi.

Sandbags are being stacked outside buildings in an attempt to hold back the waters. There are fears that the situation may worsen over the weekend if the tide is not stemmed.

More than 10,000 people have now been displaced and 400 killed in the worst floods Thailand has seen for half a century. For those who have decided to remain, a stockpiling of resources has led to a shortage of bottled water and tinned foods in the shops.

A five-day holiday has been declared to help people relocate. However for some poorer Thai nationals this is not an option.

Booma Pongparinya, 55, kept his kitchen open despite several inches of water covering his floor. He told the Telegraph:

"If I don't keep cooking, I'll have no money to pay the rent and I'll have to hang myself from the ceiling."


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