Leaving Bangkok

Posted: October 28, 2011 in Travel and Adventure writing

Time to leave Bangkok. Quick.  The rain came last night.  It rained for a long time and Khao San street erupted in a flurry of scattering tourists and locals. Then it really stank! A five-day holiday was announced in Bangkok and 20 provinces to give people the chance to escape the rising waters. Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra told reporters: ‘Now we’re at a critical moment, we need to monitor the situation closely from 28-31 October, when many areas might be critical. “Massive water is coming.” 

‘Nough said.

People around Khao San are surprising calm. We will probably only receive about half a meter of water here over the next 48hrs. But I don’t feel like sticking around and wading in knee-deep water with all these mozzie bites on my legs. Most of the tourist attractions are closed and if I see one more deep- fried grasshopper or sautéed worm I will hurl. But it is one of the only areas left thus far unaffected by the floods and they are not expecting major disaster – it seems. People from Central Bangkok are flocking into the area to escape their flooded suburbs. Every shop and bar and hotel has been barricaded about a meter high with either sandbags or temporary hastily made cement walls. You have to just about high jump to get into restaurants which makes for great entertainment all around -should tourists still have a sense of humour left at this stage.

I am heading South by train.  Was going North to Chiang Mai but the busses, trains and flights are jam-packed despite the government adding hundreds of more busses.  Twelve hour train trip and then bus for an hour or so and then a two hour boat trip to a gorgeous place called Lanta.  Buddha willing my train, and later the bus, will not be disrupted by the floods.  I leave tonight at 7 but my travel agent advised me to leave for the train station before 4. I am not sure why. I can’t quite understand her. I think it is a mixture between the traffic and the rising waters that are worrying her. I bought a juicy piece of chicken or rise and some rice for a mangy-skeletal looking dog. And I had to fight back the tears. Who is going to look after the hundreds of stray cats and dogs when the water comes?

Well I am out of here. And good luck to all the people and animals that have to stay behind because this is their home and they don’t have elsewhere to go.

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