Bangkok under water in 2030?

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

Bangkok, built on swampy ground, is sinking. With the rise of the sea level, due to global warming, the capital of Thailand could be engulfed under 1,50 meter of water as soon as 2030.

Bangkok flows ...

Bangkok vignetteThe author of this pessimistic prediction (at the time I wrote this article, February 2009) is Thai meteorologist Smith Dharmasaroja. It is reported in this article of 3 February 2009 of Global Post, entitled Bangkok is sinking (Bangkok flows).

In the late 1990s, Smith Dharmasaroja predicted an impending deadly tsunami and was not taken very seriously in his country. And then there was the terrible wave of December 2004...

The animation I originally presented here, showing the sinking of Bangkok, does not work anymore. I put instead another diagram, below, which summarizes the situation well, found on the site hist-cron.com :

Sinking Bangkok

The phenomenon is complex and is linked to several factors: constructions, clay soil, pumping of the water table, filling in of canals, erosion of the coast and mangrove swamp, etc. The phenomenon is also complex.

To learn more about the measures taken to stem the rising waters, I invite you to read this excellent article, very complete, dated May 2008, on the site Newsboy, subtitle… Bangkok does not want to sink!

The Venice of Asia

There was a time when Bangkok was nicknamed "the Venice of Asia", because of its many canals (Khlongs). There are not many of them left, but you can still go for a nice ride on one of the many boats that ply the Chao Praya River. A very pleasant way to discover Bangkok in a different way.

Update. New articles about Bangkok's sinking and recurring floods are published, year after year... Almost ten years after this post was first published, the situation has not really improved... I refer you below to a recent article from 2018:

→ Bangkok is sinking and could be partly submerged by 2030 (on 20Minutes)

Finally, for an overview, which helps to understand why Bangkok is so exposed, nothing beats a Google Map. Below, a very telling screenshot I made when I first published this post, on the eBangkok.org website (which no longer exists). Yes, we can see that the sea is close, very close...

Google map


  Between Two Journeys