The worst flooding Thailand has ever seen..
12/9/11 - 12/12/11
Where to even start with Bangkok... Hangover 2? Well the city is exactly that in some areas. Bangkok is known for selling pirated copies of new DVD's, known for being the center of Thailand's drug trade and for human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Similar to Phuket, there are ladyboys, karaoke clubs, and bars open around the clock. But the one difference between Bangkok and Phuket when I was visiting: nature.
Severe flooding occurred during the 2011 monsoon season in Thailand. Beginning at the end of July triggered by the landfall of Tropical Storm Nock-ten, flooding soon spread through the provinces of Northern, Northeastern and Central Thailand along the Mekong and Chao Phraya river basins. In October floodwaters reached the mouth of the Chao Phraya and inundated parts of the capital city of Bangkok. Flooding persisted in some areas resulting in a total of 815 deaths (with 3 missing) and 13.6 million people affected. Sixty-five of Thailand's 77 provinces were declared flood disaster zones, and over 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi) of farmland was damaged. The disaster has been described as "the worst flooding yet in terms of the amount of water and people affected."
The World Bank has estimated 1,425 billion baht ($45.7 billion USD) in economic damages and losses due to flooding, as of 1 December 2011. Most of this was to the manufacturing industry, as seven major industrial estates were inundated by as much 3 meters (10 feet) during the floods.
The World Bank's estimate for this disaster means it ranks as the world's fourth costliest disaster as of 2011 surpassed only by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, 1995 Kobe earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The flooding in Cambodia early in the semester was almost nothing compared to how badly Thailand was hit. When I was in Bangkok, several areas surrounding the city were shut down and under water, and several areas within the city limits were either still flooded or in recovery. In every public area there were pictures of the provinces and pictures of downtown, with Interstate roads underwater and only the exits and bypasses able to be seen. The airport had pictures of planes sitting on the runway, which appeared to be just floating in the water. There were portraits of entire families, with what little possessions they could carry, trekking through the water. The domestic airport in the city Don Mueang suspended all service, and transfered all flights to the Suvarnabhumi International Airport which was located outside the flood waters.
Luckily by the time I arrived in Bangkok most of the tourist areas were back in operation and I was able to explore without much difficulty.