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Does Bangkok still experience flooding?

We postponed what was going to be our honeymoon to Bangkok two years ago because of the massive flooding. We found cheap tickets again for February 2014, but before I click buy, I want to know if Bangkok has resolved its flooding issues. I would hate to book tickets only to cancel once again. We are planning to stay near the Chatuchak Market. - Quinita - Guest

Does Bangkok still experience flooding
Flooding has always been a big issue for the city, due to poor drainage systems for floodwater. While efforts have been made to accelerate drainage of floodwater into nearby rivers, the city still has a lot to improve on to completely alleviate the problem. Many areas still experience heavy flooding, even with little rain, so it is best that you avoid rainy and typhoon seasons, when flooding is the heaviest.

Chatuchak Market is notorious for flooding, as the drainage system in the area isn't as good. Alley ways retain rain up to and even above the ankles. Change hotels if you are visiting during the rainy season.


I was in Bangkok during the big flood in 2011. Though Chatuchak and some of the other attractions were flooded, some parts of the city remained dry.

I stayed in a hotel in the Hua Lamphong area near the long-distance train station, as I planned on taking the train to Laos. Luckily all north-bound trains remained operational and I did not have any problems. When I came back to Bangkok after a week in Laos, some parts of the city were flooded still. I stayed in the Pratunam area and my hotel wasn't affected, but others were not so lucky.

The high-end hotels in the Siam Square area were spared from the flood. Staying there is your best bet. If you are on a budget, you can still stay in the hostels of Khao San road. That area wasn't flooded, either.

I can tell you with certainty that if it floods during your stay in Bangkok, you won't be able to see major attractions like Chatuchak market and Ayutthaya. But you can still see the following (like I did):

1. Amari Square / Dusit area
2. Baiyoke Sky Tower
3. Bangkok cultural center
4. Central Chitlom
5. The amazing streetfood on the corner of Petchaburi and Ratchaprapop
6. Democracy Monument
7. Lumphini Park
8. MBK Mall (this is the next best thing to Chatuchak)
9. Siam Square / Siam Paragon
10. The markets of Soi 10
11. Wat Pho
12. Wat Ratchanatda

You can also go on day trips to elephant farms outside of Bangkok, as well as the floating market.

Here is a a photo of one of the flooded streets, taken during my visit to Bangkok in 2011. As you can see, the flood is only ankle-deep; some locals and even tourists simply took the tuktuks to get through the flooded streets. Buses also continued to operate.

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