Is Sukhothai Historical Park Really Flooded?

Any foreign tourist reading the Bangkok Post today might get the impression that Sukhothai Historical Park is under a meter of water. The first line in the Bangkok Post said: “Overflow from the Yom River hit the old capital of the historic Sukhothai kingdom early yesterday morning, breaking through eroded levees beneath flood walls to swamp parts of the city.”

The thing is, the map above clearly shows the flooded area as only being in the “modern city” of Sukhothai. The “old capital of the historic Sukhothai kingdom” is actually about 12 km to the West of the Yom River and as far as I know is not flooded. I was in the city once during a flash flood and my guesthouse was flooded despite no rain. I remember at the time that the old city where tourists go was perfectly fine.

As we are now in the monsoon season, we are going to see some major flooding in different areas of Thailand. At the moment it is mainly restricted to lower north and upper central. Recently, heavy rain washed away earth below rail tracks in Lamphun resulting in train services being suspended. Apart from Sukhothai city, the focus of attention is also on Ayutthaya where river levels are rising. If you are travelling in these areas you need to keep an eye on the news. On Twitter follow me on @RichardBarrow and @191Thailand.

UPDATE: I got the following reply from the local office of TAT when I inquired about which areas were flooded: “Sukhothai municipality’s Wichian Chamnong, Ratchathani, Pracha Ruamjai, Khlong Tapetch, Phra Maeya and Tan Diew communities were inundated. But Sukhothai Historical park located at Muang Kao (old city) district is far from flooding area 12 kms. not effected by flooding situation, make sure it is safe 100%.”

(Hat tip to Andrew Spooner for pointing out the misleading BP story)

4 thoughts on “Is Sukhothai Historical Park Really Flooded?

  • September 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve just come back from Sukhothai 17-Sep.
    Sukhothai historical park was not affected by this flood issue.
    Some ruins of Si Satchanalai were soaked in water, but it was less than 10 cm depth.

    • September 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks for your update.

  • September 13, 2012 at 3:08 am

    After this deliberate misreporting, can we still trust Bangkok Post ? Are we correct to say this daily has a hidden agenda against the Yingluck government?

    • September 13, 2012 at 6:38 am

      I wouldn’t call it “deliberate misreporting”. Its more a case of an editor not realizing (or caring) that Sukhothai city, which was flooded, is in fact a modern city.


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