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Bangkok floods – what’s the latest travel advice?
With nightly TV news bulletins showing the flood waters that have stricken huge parts of Thailand, many of us will be aware of the problems affecting the country. The floods have been caused by wide spread heavy rains over a number of weeks in the Northern areas of the country. And the Thai authorities have employed a variety of tactics to stop the waters reaching Bangkok and its central areas.
While it is hard to imagine the scale of the natural disaster, many Brits will be worried about whether it is safe to travel to Thailand, a destination that is our number one search for flight searches here at TravelSupermarket.com.
The FCO has stated that UK citizens should not make any but essential travel to Bangkok or the 26 provinces affected by the floods. Yet reports from the centre of the city states that hotels and business are open as normal despite high river levels. One thing that cannot be easily predicted is how much more flooding there will be.
The advice from the FCO effectively invalidates insurance policies for new travel to these places and stops people from heading to Bangkok for their holidays. However it does allow for people transiting Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International airport, although the domestic airport Don Muang remains closed at present and may cause some issues for people heading to popular resort destinations such as Phuket and Koh Samui which are totally unaffected by the floods in the North.
So what should you do if you are due to depart to Thailand?
The first thing is to speak to your tour operator or flight arranger after consulting the FCO advice. Airlines such as British Airways are offering free date changes and tour operators such as Kuoni are allowing transfer to new dates or refunds for those where their resort destination is within the affected areas.
If you are in the country already, you should speak to your airline or tour operator about arrangements in case you need to be evacuated. The FCO advice page also has additional information for advice services within the country.
The current situation is one that will change in the coming days and weeks and it will not be long before the main tourist centres are back working normally.Please note: All facts were correct at the time of writing (October 28, 2011).