While I was living in Chiang Mai, they started building work next to my block of flats. It was right outside my window (I was on the 4th floor, so it started quite far away and then grew upwards), so I decided I would take a picture every now and then. That developed into a picture most days, so I could see the building grow. And also watch the quite unusual – to me, anyway – methods of building. I worked in my early twenties as a new build salesperson (I know!), so I spent quite a lot of time on building sites at that point as my office was on site (I have my own hard hat and steel toe-capped boots), and can promise you that the Thai style is quite different…
For starters – and I want to feel good about this, but can’t, quite – there are a lot of women on the building site. But unfortunately that’s because ‘cheap labour’ is usually used, (minimum wage in Thailand is 300-baht a day, which is about £6) often refugees or illegal workers (there are around 2.5 million migrant workers in Thailand, 75% of whom are from Myanmar/Burma). And health and safety is non-existent (read this article about female migrant construction worker conditions in Cambodia – where the workers say Thailand is much worse), there are no hard hats or anything like that. Although the builders do cover up from head to toe, but that’s more about sunburn than anything else!
There don’t seem to be any rules about when they can build either, although I’ve read you can complain about noise from 2am-6am. But I’ve seen them work into the night by the light of fluorescent lights, and come early, although usually they wouldn’t start until 8am or so. There was a lot of noise, but having lived next to a railway line in the past (in the UK), and habituated to that, the noise didn’t bother me too much. Unless I was on a Skype call.
It was a fascinating process to watch, and I was only sorry I didn’t get to see the finished building. The photos run from 14 October 2013 until 11 December 2013. When I go back in the New Year I’ll update the post with a picture! Enjoy the slide shows…
NB: All the photos were taken with my iPhone, so sorry about the quality of the close ups!
Gallery: Angle 1
Gallery 2: Angles 2 and sometimes 3