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Mumbai ditches Bangkok

Mumbaikars who had planned to spend their Diwali holiday in Bangkok are cancelling or postponing their plans on account of the recent Thailand floods, tour operators say.

Atul Mohite, ex-president Maharashtra Tour Organisers Association (MTOA), said, "We are unable to reach tour agents we usually deal with. If the situation doesn't improve, we are set to see a huge number of cancellations."


Floodwaters rage in Bang Bua Thon, suburban Bangkok.
pic/ afp photo


Like him, Iqbal Mulla, owner of Treasure Tours and Travel Pvt. Ltd. in Andheri is worried. "With the Thailand government's declaration of a holiday from October 27 to 31 in Bangkok, and 20 provinces affected by the country's worst flooding in 50 years, we are unable to proceed with travel plans since floodwaters have covered the Don Muang airport tarmac, shutting it down."

The State Railway of Thailand said all train services from Bangkok to southern Thailand were suspended after suburban tracks were submerged. Foreign governments have urged their citizens to avoid the city.

Mahesh Khanna from Juhu, who had planned to spend his Diwali vacation in Bangkok with his family, is disappointed. "We have planned to postpone our trip. The worst bit is having made advance payments for bookings in the city. We are unlikely to get a refund."

Sudhir Patil, president, MTOA maintained that the government of Thailand has assured them that key tourist areas were unaffected except for the Chao Phraya river where cruises are popular.

Almost 400 people have been killed since the floods began in July, submerging towns across Thailand, but the situation has worsened in the last five days, affecting the main city center.

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