The Floods of Bangkok

Floods Outside Our House in Bangkok

This is the worst rainy season that I’ve experienced since moving to Thailand. The water is edging up the driveway. If we have another good downpour tonight the water will almost certainly be in the house by the morning. Some of our neighbours are already dealing with flooded homes. My wife’s parents have been living in the top floor of their house for the last month because downstairs has become an indoor swimming pool. This is something they need to contend with most years, but even they admit that this year is particularly bad. It looks like Venice on our streets and people are now moving about in boats instead of cars.

Despite my fears of imminent disaster my wife is unruffled. The sun has come out in Minburi and she is convinced that this marks the end of the rainy season. My wife seems to forget that we’ve had such sunny spells every day this week; they were then followed by hours of rain. Maybe she can observe something special about this particular sunny spell? Something that is not so obvious to foreigners like me. I hope she is right because moving all our belongings upstairs doesn’t is going to be a huge challenge. I also dread to think what the clean-up operation afterwards will be like. I’m being selfish here I know – considering what other people in Thailand are putting up with at the moment.

The Water is Getting Near to Our Door

Driving in the Bangkok Floods
Getting around in this weather is a huge challenge – a lot of people are just staying at home. My son’s school is only 2km away but it took us over half an hour to make the journey by car. On some parts of the road the water level is right up to the door. When a car in the opposite lane sends a wave in my direction it moves up the bonnet and hits the window. The engine makes noises like it is about to quit, and during the trip we pass a few cars that have failed as water craft. If it rains again there is no way that I’m taking the car back out.

Driving in the Bangkok Floods is a Nightmare

I remember three years ago when my old car did breakdown in the middle of a flood. I was attending a training course in Bangkok, and I’d offered to give three of my work colleagues a lift. While we were inside learning all about Thai culture it began to rain outside. By the time we returned to the car the flood water was up above our knees. I decided to drive driving anyway, but we didn’t get far before so much water got into the engine and it stalled. My three passengers had to get out and push. I remember at one stage looking in the rear-view mirror and witnessing the unbelievable sight of them pushing the car while water was almost up to their chest levels. One oncoming wave lifted the car right up so that it was floating – one of the scariest things to ever happen to me while driving. The idea of abandoning the vehicle was tempting but I couldn’t do that while my friends were still willing to push. I somehow managed to get the engine going when we reached dry land.

I’ll keep a worrying eye on the sky. The sunny spell that my wife felt so confident about has ended, but there is still not rain so maybe she is right after all. We’ll find out soon enough.

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7 thoughts on “The Floods of Bangkok

  1. We’re dry down here in Bangkok but spent yesterday at my in-laws in Saraburi where the water levels are really high. I hope all is ok with you guys, Paul.

    1. Hi Jon, here on this side of Bangkok there is plenty of water. It didn’t rain last night but the flooding continues. I made the mistake of taking the car out this morning and the plastic protective covering underneath the car came off due to the weight of the water. The engine is also making funny noises. I will not be going out in the car again until the flooding is over.

  2. We’ve been getting quite a bit of rain up North too. But I live close to the mountains, so I’m very lucky. My last place was in a low point of town, so there was a lot of flooding. . .can’t imagine living there now.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks Lani, this is the first year that the flooding has really impacted my life negatively. When I was teaching there were quite a few bonus days off because of it – so I shouldn’t complain too much I suppose 🙂

  3. Paul, I do hope your wife is right and the rain starts to ease. Like Lani said, we’ve been getting quite a bit of rain in Chiang Mai city, but it eases just enough to allow the water drain away. It’s still quite dangerous to ride on many of the roads during or just after a down pour though. I’m sure that some people would be experiencing periodic minor flooding through their houses due to pour drainage.

    Keep us updated and hope you don’t have to lug everything upstairs.

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