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Public Announcements and Messages for U.S. Citizens

Travel Alert: Thailand

October 27, 2011

This Travel Alert is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to difficulties related to travel in the flood-affected areas of the central and lower parts of northern Thailand, including Bangkok. Severe flooding has hampered transportation and limited access to some essential services in the affected regions. The U.S. Department of State recommends against all but essential travel to these areas of Thailand.  This Alert extends only to the areas of Thailand listed in the following paragraph. Most tourist destinations, such as Phuket and Chiang Mai, are unaffected by the current flooding.  Bangkok’s main international airport,Suvarnabhumi,is operating normally.  This Travel Alert will expire on January 26, 2012.

A series of particularly strong seasonal storms with exceptionally heavy rainfall have produced extensive flooding throughout many provinces in Thailand, causing significant damage and loss of life.  The flood waters are now affecting central and lower parts of northern Thailand.  The affected areas include metropolitan Bangkok and 20 additional provinces: Sukhothai, Pichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singhburi, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Lopburi, Sara Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Pracheen Buri, Chacherngsao, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Kamphang Peth, and Tak. 

The flooding is becoming more widespread in the outer Bangkok Metropolitan area. It is possible that portions of inner Bangkok may become flooded, particularly in areas along the Chao Phraya River. There are reports of shortages of bottled water and selected food items within the Bangkok metropolitan area, and it is possible that transportation and electric power could be disrupted. It is unclear how long these conditions will last, and U.S. citizens living in flood-affected areas should follow the advice of local authorities, monitor local media, and refer to the U.S. Embassy web page for specific information.

In many flooded areas surface transportation has either been suspended or diverted to other areas. Portions of highways are closed and bus and train services linking Bangkok with points to the north are suspended and some routes to the northeast have been diverted.  Don Muang Airport, which typically handles a number of domestic flights, is closed due to flooding.  Flights into and out of Don Muang Airport have either been canceled or diverted to Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok’s main international Airport. We recommend travelers check with their airlines for additional details.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Thailand are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.

U.S. citizens living in Thailand should contact the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok for up-to-date information on any restrictions. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html) is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing acsbkk@state.gov. The Embassy’s after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000. The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai (http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.html) is located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at acschn@state.gov. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878. You can also follow the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok’s American Citizen Services Unit on Twitter for further updates.

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).