Flood-hacking in Thailand

Meanwhile, it's still flooding in Thailand. And, after three months of this, the Thai people have been forced to get creative.

Thai Flood Hacks is a Tumblr that feels like a pean to human ingenuity. Here, you will find boats made out of old water bottles. Homemade jet skis. Raised walkways built from shopping carts. Guys just out walking around on stilts. It's amazing. Thai Happy Mutants have pulled off some awe-inspiring instant solutions that allow them to get on with their lives in the middle of an infrastructure-crippling natural disaster.

Via Neatorama


  1. That was one awesome Tumblr. Though as a Thai I’d like to point out that this flooding of Bangkok was as much a natural disaster as hurricane Katrina was to New Orleans.

    1. In what way?

      Genuine question, I know very little about what’s happening, other than the scale of it.

      1. Well, it’s comparable in several ways… it’s a rare, but not unexpected or unpredictable natural event (and in this case, the northern part of the country was severely flooded in the weeks prior to it hitting Bangkok so they knew damn well it was coming). Poor people are disproportionally affected (outer areas of the city were “sacrificed” so that central Bangkok stayed dry). There’s huge criticism of how the government is handling the situation.

        I’m not sure I can agree with Pim, though. I’ll freely admit that Pim probably has a much better handle on it, but I’ve been following it quite closely (mostly via twitter) and I’m not sure there was really any more that the government could have done, though there are the usual problems of lacking clear communication and coordination.

        Which has led to quite a lot of criticism, naturally – but there aren’t clear things that the government should have done as part of the relief effort that they didn’t do like during Katrina, and there wasn’t much they could have done that could have prevented anything (like mismanaged/neglected levees in New Orleans).

  2. I was going to correct your spelling of “pean”, but after googling it, I found that it was an acceptable alternative spelling of “paean”. So I learned something, but my spellcheck still says it’s wrong.

  3. What I came here to say, though, is that this type of resourcefulness is quite common in developing countries (and there have been several posts on boingboing over the years showcasing it – this is obviously not an unknown fact among this crowd :)

    The truly amazing thing to me, though, is not this type of stuff – though of course it’s awesome – but the day-to-day little stuff. In the west we look in a shop for a solution to a problem – in developing countries they look to what they already have and can reshape and reuse. And often, it ends up working better than whatever store-bought solution we would have used.

    I saw this very maker-esque creativity and ability constantly in Thailand (where I “lived”, much of the time with locals, for almost half a year in total). Almost everyone has it. You just have to develop this type of skill, because of the scarce resources available to most people.

    In other words, whereas maker culture these days is pretty far outside the mainstream, it is overwhelmingly the mainstream in developing countries like Thailand – and I think it’s fantastic, and one of the things that really fascinates me about such places.

Comments are closed.