Receding floodwaters north of Bangkok have reduced the threat to the Thai capital, prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has said, easing pressure on the national tourism industry there.
“If things go on like this, we expect floodwater in Bangkok to recede within the first week of November,” Shinawatra told the country in a televised address.
Chao Phraya River, the main Bangkok waterway, has swollen close to its brink during unusually high tides, causing some flooding in nearby areas.
Buildings across Bangkok have been sand-bagged for protection, while many residents have fled the city or stocked up on water, food, life jackets and even boats.
The worst floods in the country for half a century have killed 377 people since July.
The impact on tourism has begun to be felt, with the close of Don Muang Airport last week and many people reticent to travel.
Many foreign governments have also warned citizens against non-essential travel to the city of 12 million people.
High & Dry
The main impact has been in central Thailand and parts of Bangkok, however, central Bangkok remains dry.
Transport, infrastructure and tourism outlets are operating as usual throughout the rest of the country, including Phuket, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
“Tourists may experience minor inconveniences such as the absence of bottled water at convenience stores,” warned the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
“Visitors should read government travel advisories and adjust their itineraries on the ground in Thailand, if necessary,” added PATA chief executive Martin Craigs.