Bangkok braces for flood
Those of you planning to travel in and around Thailand on your gap year will no doubt have heard of the floods that are ravaging the country.
The floods initially started in the north of the country and have been steadily been making their way down south. Now the seemingly unstoppable floods are advancing on the Thai capital, Bangkok.
Millions of Thais are bracing themselves and preparing for the inevitable, with certain danger zones being evacuated.
Hundreds of people were evacuated over the weekend as water in residential areas of the northern Lak Si and Don Muang suburbs reached levels as high as two metres (six feet), testing flood defences and spilling out of swollen canals and rivers.
Across the country, more than 110,000 evacuees have been forced to seek refuge in 1,743 shelters to escape the waters.
The floods are the worst the country has seen in five decades and have killed at least 356 people and affected nearly 2.5 million.
28 of Thailand's 77 provinces have been affected, with water covering an area 16 times the size of Hong Kong.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said: “Water is coming from different places, and headed in the same direction. We're trying to build walls but there will be some impact on Bangkok.”
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said: “The situation is getting serious and we expect it to get worse. I have said, if the situation becomes a crisis, I'll be the first one to tell you, and now I'm telling you.”
The FCO advises: “We advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border due to the presence of troops in the area and recent outbreaks of fighting. Remain alert to the local situation when travelling in other border regions and at land crossings between Thailand and Cambodia.”
The Bangkok Post states that most of Thailand's top tourist destinations and the capital's main airport have so far been unaffected.
As with all natural disasters the situation is constantly changing so make sure you check for updates regularly.
Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for a gap year and is a key stop on a round the world trip. We’re constantly monitoring the situation and we’ll keep you updated.
Are you currently travelling in Thailand? If so, have you been affected by the floods? And if you’re planning a trip to Thailand in the next few weeks have you have to change your plans? We’d love to hear from you gappers…