Released at 18.30 Hrs. (GMT+7) on 9 January 2017
The flooding in Thailand’s southern region is currently affecting various areas of southern Thailand, due to heavy monsoon rains over the weekend. However, Phuket and Phang-nga in the Andaman coastal area, and Hat Yai in Songkhla have been relatively unaffected by the floods, while the situation on Ko Samui and Ko Phangan has returned to normal. All land and air transportation is operating as normal.
Below is a tourism update relating to the flood situation in each region:
Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, and Ko Tao in the Gulf of Thailand have seen the situation return to normal as of Sunday, 8 January 2017. Flights to and from Ko Samui Airport are running to timetable and no passengers are reported as being stranded. All, water transportation services, including the catamaran and ferries, operated by private companies – Songserm Rungraung Boat, Lomprayah, and Seatran Discovery – are also running as normal. However, excursions between islands by speed boat have temporarily been suspended due to sea conditions. Hotels and guesthouses on the three islands have reported a daily occupancy rate of around 68-70 per cent.
Nakhon Si Thammarat: The floodwaters in the city centre are starting to recede with road surfaces the municipal areas now visible. Some areas on the outskirts of the town are still underwater. The province’s airport has been temporarily closed from 6-9 January, 2017. Passengers are advised to check on the status of any flights after 10 January. Southern long distance trains from Bangkok have been suspended at Thung Song Station.
Surat Thani: the north-south link Asian Highway No. 41 saw some sections of the stretch being submerged under water. But quick temporary measures, such as the instillation of temporary bridges and pumping of floodwaters have been put in place to allow vehicles to pass through and traffic is now running smoothly.
Hat Yai, Songkhla: Flights to and from the tourist district of Hat Yai have not been affected by the floods while interprovincial bus services are also running as normal. Some districts in Sonkhla that are situation adjacent to Songkhla Lake are slightly affected by floodwaters flowing from Phattalung and Nakhon Si Thammarat through the lake to the Gulf of Thailand. The Klong Dan Floating Market in Ranot District has been affected by the floods and has been closed.
Krabi: The province of Krabi has been affected by the recent rains and the local authorities have decided to close two national marine parks: the Lanta National Park and surrounding islands from 9- 11 January, 2017. The Than Bok Korani National Park is also to be closed from 9 January until weather conditions improve.
Chumphon: The situation in the city itself is still problematic, with flood levels as high as a metre in low lying areas.
Trang: Floodwaters in most areas of Trang are now receding except along the course of the Trang River which is still heavily swollen due to upstream wash off.
Narathiwat: Chao Mae Tomo Shrine in Su-ngai Kolok District is affected.
According to the Thai Meteorological Department, Southern Thailand and the Thai Gulf is still covered by a low pressure ridge which is moving up towards Myanmar and into the Andaman Sea. Heavy rain is expected in most southern areas. Waves of 2-3 metres high are being reported in both the Thai Gulf and the Andaman Sea and all vessels are advised to proceed with caution, especially smaller craft.
Tourists are still able to visit the South of Thailand but advised to check the news with tour agencies and airlines about areas they plan to visit and to monitor the local weather reports.