Floods in Bangkok - TRAFFIC!!

As you may know there was a lot of rainfall in Bangkok in the last 48 hours, although it appears like a nice dry day today which is good. Good for the traffic for one thing! Yesterday was a nightmare on the roads.

Yesterday evening I got a craving for some Japanese food. Sashimi dipped generously in wasabi diluted in soya sauce was crying out my name from our local Zen. My wife shared my enthusiasm when I suggested a Japanese evening. We ignored the news of traffic chaos, and decided to set off as soon as things looked reasonably quiet on the main road running past our apartment. At around 8 o'clock we ventured out of our home to make the 20-minute journey to Central Bang Na.

An hour and 20 minutes later and we were still not there, and were going to miss last orders at 9:30 p.m. so we peeled away from the traffic and enjoyed some simpler fare at a roadside restaurant. We learned our lesson! At one point, when we'd been stuck in traffic -without moving for about 15 minutes, we started to think that most of the other road users at the time were trying to get home from work, but there we were going out for dinner, needlessly adding another car to the problem.

At many points along the way the flooding was 6-8" deep, covering the pavement in some places. A driver of a modified Honda Prelude didn't help the flow of traffic much either as he needed to switch lanes regularly to find the shallowest point for his car. The Prelude is low enough in standard spec, but this one was tuned, and was riding very low. Not blaming him or anything, I'd have been doing the same thing.

Now and then one lane would completely stop while the others continued their slow crawl onward. This meant that it was time to appeal to the generosity of others and change lanes. This happened to us several times, and each time a driver let us out almost immediately after we indicated our intension. Minutes later we would arrive at the cause of the blockage, broken down cars dotted all over the route. Many of these breakdowns seem to have been a result of the flooding.

Moral of the story: if you can avoid driving in Bangkok, avoid it. If it's raining, about to rain or has been raining, avoid it at all costs! And listen to the news reports when they say the traffic is bad EVERYWHERE!