Well folks: I flew out of Bangkok today. Along with thousands of others fleeing Thailand’s capital due to the relentless floods that are about to wash over the city. Nam-tuam is Thai for floods and you hear these words a lot in Bangkok right now. I went to Bangkok, after working in Malaysia, to visit my Thai family – Lalida and her parents. I first met Lalida in 2003 during my first visit to Thailand and hadn’t seen her since 2005. So I thought I’d spend a week in Bangkok with Lalida and her family.

Didn’t count on the floods getting in our way though. It’s been a bit of a scary week actually. Lalida and I had hoped for a week of visiting some temples, seeing elephants painting and checking out Siam Paragon (a huge shopping complex). We did manage to rush through Siam Paragon yesterday but the rest of our plans were sent into chaos as Nam-tuam marched relentlessly towards Thailand’s capital city.

Daily the news seemed to shift. One moment, you’d hear that the flood waters were 2.1 metres and well below the 2.5 metre barrier that is holding the flood waters at bay. Next, you’d hear that with the high tides, the water level would reach 2.65 metres. Drinking water is almost impossible to find and food prices are skyrocketing as shop owners take advantage of panic buying.

Fortunately, Lalida is a sensible person and has been stocking up on essential items. Earlier this week, the Thai Government said that the flood waters could be a problem for up to one month. So Lalida has ensured she has rice, dried fish, drinking water and medical supplies to keep them all going for one month if necessary.

Two days ago, the Thai Government announced that residents should leave Bangkok because high tides and flood waters are expected to gush into the city this weekend. Lalida was keen for us to leave but we were equally keen to see that she would be okay. Hubs and I managed to get on an Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur, where we’ll spend this coming weekend before flying back to Christchurch. Bangkok airport was in chaos this morning as the floods sparked a mass exodus.

I’ve been on the road, so to speak, since late July and this week of uncertainty has pretty well convinced me to stay put in my beloved New Zealand for quite some time. I’ll bring you some photos of the floods and empty shops but for today’s post, here are some photos of Lalida and her parents.

We were invited over to their house a few days ago, before Bangkok was placed on high alert due to Nam-tuam. Lalida’s mother cooked my favourite dish of chicken with ginger and we also enjoyed the Thai dessert I love the most – mango with sticky rice. We then went off to see an amazing show – Siam Niramit, A Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam. This took our minds off the floods for a few hours.I guess this weekend will show whether the barriers around Bangkok can contain Nam-tuam.

Chicken soup, duck, chicken with ginger and mango with sticky rice - a Thai feast!

Mango with sticky rice and coconut milk.

Lalida with her parents. Her father is always happy and smiling. Her mother just had an eye operation.

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