Bricks: The building blocks of Southeast Asia.
Behind every layer of cement lies a layer of red-orange (aka brick-red). It doesn’t matter if the building is purple or fluorescent green or both (Thailand), it’s still brick on the inside.
Each new Air b-n-b includes a near by construction site allowing you to play such games as “Guess what time the crew will start tomorrow.”, “What tool makes that much noise?”, “I don’t think THAT is OSHA approved.”, and “Do you see any safety harnesses?”.
Down every street and in most driveways is a stack of bricks. I watched a woman move an entire pallet sized pile from one side of the alley to the other. It was a 1.5 meter move and I wondered if it actually needed to be done. Maybe she was rearranging?
Vietnam was where I really started to notice. Da Nang was the clear winner in the brick pile competition. I think it’s because of their drive to become the Singapore of Vietnam. Every patch of land along what used to be called China Beach is being built up into high-rise condos or a hotel.
Hue and Hanoi were doing well also.
We even passed the brick factory on our way to Halong Bay. Passing by a small town on the left side I marveled at the field full of neatly stacked piles and pillars that looked like a miniature city scape. A brick Hobbiton.
Some may say that SE Asia is built on bamboo and palm fronds and they certainly use a lot of each for almost everything. I also know I get fixated on a subject and soon I’m seeing bricks everywhere.
I rest my case with My Son.
Built of brick and tree sap between 400 AD and 1400 AD the building are still standing. Located in the jungle of central Vietnam. Worn by moisture, weather and war, My Son is truly a marvel in construction to this day. Bricks layered without cement. Stacked and set to dry, the ancient construction is not holding the moisture. This baking of the bricks is what makes them better than the ones used for reconstruction.