The Bangkok Post reported today that floodwater breached a barrier at Khlong Luang (Luang Canal) and swept into Khlong Prapa (Waterworks Canal). What that means in plain English is that the floodwater is now flowing into one of the main canals that flows through Bangkok proper, so the water has breached the city’s outer defenses. It’s akin to barbarians battering the castle gate after they cross the moat.

Below are photos I took yesterday about noon at Khlong Prapa near Chaengwatthana Road. The water has reportedly risen at least 1.5 meters since then and covered the road. The news reported standing water on Chaengwatthana Road as of this morning, and central Nonthaburi on the northern outskirts of Bangkok is at risk of up to several more meters of flooding. If and when that happens, the rest of Bangkok will be vulnerable.

 2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (7)

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (3)

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (6)

Although the blame game has started with critics pointing fingers at those they believe could have done a better job of controlling the situation, water will go where it wants to go. It wants to go to the sea, Bangkok stands in the way. The government has tried to stem the flow east and west of the city with mixed results; now the flooding is almost everywhere. I’m of the opinion that the flooding of Khlong Prapa was bound to happen sooner or later. The sooner it flows through, the sooner the water will dissipate.

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (2)

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (4)

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (5)

I’ve been told that it could take a while for the water to disappear. I hope not! If there’s standing water on a prolonged basis, none of us will be able to return home anytime soon. I ran into several of my neighbors today in “exile,” and we’re all in the same boat (pun intentional). We’re essentially Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the moment.

There are some positive outcomes from this situation. The swollen waterways are eerily beautiful.

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal

The flora and fauna are getting plenty of water.

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (8)

And it’s getting easier to catch fish.

2011_10_20 Swollen Canal (9)


Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at or contact him by e-mail at or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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1 Comment

  1. margaret cannon's Gravatar margaret cannon
    October 22, 2011    

    So appreciate the update and your site. We are staying in town but continue to wonder, every time one of us carries our growing puppy onto the elevator for the 19 flights down, why are we here again. Have a great trip to the triangle and enjoy the natural fauna there, sans natures enduced water.

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