Koh Samui and the Floods (November, 2011)

It is desperately sad to see the TV footage coming out of Bangkok at the moment. Large parts of the city remain under water and the people are forced to either evacuate or live with their homes half submerged under water. Such World Heritage sites as the Royal Palace, Wat Pho and Ayutthaya have been severely damaged. Japanese car makers have lost thousands of cars and businesses up and down the country have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the vastly reduced numbers of tourists to the country.

 

Mudslides, disease and looting remain serious problems. So far the death toll is 540. It is only hoped that a serious outbreaks of water born diseases such as cholera are avoided.

 

Koh Samui in the south is still having its regular storms and floods due to the annual monsoon. The weather today in Koh Samui was cloudy, the temperature a pleasant 27 degrees. A few more big storms are expected but nothing that will cause major flooding or infrastructure damage.

 

Despite the fact that Koh Samui has avoided the disastrous floods that have hit Bangkok and 24 other provinces in Thailand it is not certain whether the peak season of December 21st to January 10th will see visitor numbers to Koh Samui return to normal levels.

 

The good news is that most people book their Christmas holidays well in advance. Most people will be keeping an eye on the news. If it seems that the floods have abated in Bangkok there is a good chance that most people won't cancel their holidays. The main international airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport remains open and functioning. Thai Airways uses this airport for its services to Samui airport. If the situation remains the same there should be no problem in getting to Koh Samui.

 

The older Don Muang Airport is closer to the center of Bangkok is currently underwater and not in service. Nok Air flights to Nakhon Si Thammarat and Solar Air flights to Chumphon are both suspended. It is recommended that people with tickets with these companies contact the airlines for updates on the situation.

 

The high flood tide lasts until 15th November, at which point it is hoped that the capital will quickly return to normal and can start to repair the damage done by the floods.

 

Finally, the Thai people have shown remarkable resilience and fortitude in dealing with the disaster. They are a credit to the country and reinforce the positive impression much of the world has about the beauty of the Thai personality that matches the beauty of the country.