Maniq Tribe, Thailand - Tripreport

worldcapture @worldcaptureJuly 2019 · 8 min read


Today I want to tell you my story of one of the most exciting things I've done in my life. Meeting a Tribe called Maniq in the jungle of south Thailand.

A few months back I started to ask around my friends here in Thailand if anyone has any idea or information about tribes living in Thailand - Most refused. Some have heard about tribes but did not have any further information about them.

After some time has past another friend texted me about an article in the newspaper which showed a story of a farmer who lives near a tribe and also supports them. After contacting the farmer we were able to get more information and also the "permission" to visit the tribe together with them.


For privacy reasons I will not publish the location where this tribe lives. All I can say about it is that the tribe we've visited is located in South Thailand.


Maniq Tribe

The Maniq are an ethnic tribe of Thailand with a population of only 300 people. They are the only negro group in Thailand which language is also called Maniq (Tonga), a Mon language in the Aslian language.

The origin of the Maniq people is not 100% sure. Some people think they immigrated from Africa, others like the farmer think they come from the Indonesian area.

The way Maniq people live is mostly in the jungle/forest in simple build bamboo huts covered by banana leaves.


Let's start the journey!

It was a Saturday in late May when I arrived at the Farmers (Let's call him Nock) home after a flight down from Bangkok.

Nock spoke some English so it was possible to ask him some questions about the Tribe before we went to visit them. He actually suggested to meet them on the same day I've arrived at his farm to just say a short "Hello" to them and just to get to know them.

I have to mention that I was a little bit nervous before we started to drive up the mountains to meet the tribe. It was the first time for me doing something like this as it is not a usual daily thing to do :D. But I was excited - Super excited!


It took us about 30 mins driving from Nock's farm up the small mountain with pretty rough roads. I was really surprised how he quite old Ford Pickup truck managed to get through those roads. But it worked!

After parking the car we had to hike further up through the beautiful jungle to reach the small village the Maniq's stetted up.

After hiking for a good 15-20 minutes we finally arrived in the middle of nowhere inside the jungle and there it was - The small huts of the Maniq tribes with a couple of people running around.


They were obviously super happy about our visit as we brought some rice and other foods for them. The communication worked through Nock and the leader of the tribe (An) as she spoke perfect Thai which she learned before in some community support institute.


On the picture above you can see An (tribe leader) holding her daughter.

You might ask now why a women leads the tribe - It is because her husband (Tok) who used to lead it before, is now becoming some kind of an "famous" actor for playing himself, a Maniq person in some Thai- Movies. So he is not always at home as he stay outside for shooting movies.

It also is a great opportunity for him to earn a little bit of money and also to see something outside of the jungle. I was really surprised when I've heard his story :).


Tok trying to shoot a bird with his bamboo stick.

I also should mention that I didn't take any picture in the first 1 - 1.5 hours after arriving at the village. Even I had the permission from everyone inside of the village it just did not feel right yet.

I had the feeling of disrespecting the tribe by just taking pictures of them like I was in a zoo. So I decided to not take any pictures first. All the pictures you see above are from the second day of my visit.




As the sun went down we decided to go back to the farm where I would stay overnight to catch some sleep to be ready to start our journey on the next day in the early morning to visit the tribe again.

Day 2

It took me quite a while to fall asleep as all of the impression were super intense to me. Meeting people who live in the jungle was something pretty special. The way they talk, behave and just live is totally different compared to the "normal" civilization. Something I haven't seen before.

Day 2 started with a nice breakfast in a local store where we had some delicious sticky rice with fried meat on it. The perfect meal to start with enough power in the second part of the journey.




As soon as we arrived everything felt already way more familiar. Not only for me, also for the tribe. Now they "knew" me already and it wasn't the feeling of an alien meeting them anymore :). So I walked around quite comfortably and took pictures of their daily life.





One of the boys actually promised to shoot a bird for us before we arrived on the second day in the morning. He unfortunately was not able to catch any bird and he was so ashamed of it that he stayed in the hut the whole day and he wouldn't come out :D

The Maniq people hunt their food with the help of bamboo "blow" sticks. Usually they look for rabbits, birds or even wild pigs. The way they cook it is also quite interesting - They make a fire and just put the animal on it and cook it medium raw so they can take out the fire again (The fire smoke makes other animals run away, that's the reason behind it.). So in my eyes I wasn't to unhappy that the little fella didn't catch a bird for us, ha! ;)






In the pictures above you can see Tok showing us his skills of shooting with the bamboo "blow" stick. It was crazy how accurate he shot the little pins in a range of 15-20 meters. Once he held the stick just horizontal up in the air and shot a pin and I was quite worried about it because gravity will bring it 100% down again - luckily on no ones head ;)

One very funny story was when Tok talked to us a airplane was flying right above us and he absolutely doesn't like the sound of it so he said "I would like to shoot the airplane down with my bamboo pipe but that could hurt people and I don't want to hurt people. So I don't do it" - When they translated it to me I really had to laugh out loud :D He definitely had a good sense of humor!

Daily life

In the video above I just filmed some daily life moments of the Maniq's life. If you listen to the sound you can hear the language which they are talking. Very fascinating and something I haven't heard before.







After spending a couple of more hours at the village it started to rain and we decided to say "good bye" to the Maniq people. What an amazing experience that was!




The village we visited hosted around 20 people at the time we were there. They do have a couple of more members which were visiting some other family members who lived in another tribe village.

Some Maniq people are already integrated in society and go to normal public schools. They also tried to move the village I've visited down to the "normal" society which failed as the tribe did not feel comfortable living the way "we" live. So they moved back into the jungle.

They do get support by people like Nok - The Farmer and also the government tries to protect them and letting them live the life they choose.


For me it was the first of hopefully many experiences like this. I plan to do more trips around the world to meet all different kinds of humans to learn from their cultures and hopefully be able to document it with film/photography to write about it.

Thanks for reading :)



Posted from my blog with SteemPress :


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Remy @guchtereAugust 2019

Better late than never I assume...🤔 (Thankfully your in my autovote 👏)

Damn what an MANIQ adventure you had there with the tribe. Must have been a magical experience! Makes me realize again how important networking is to get things done and make dreams become true. Good decision to not take pictures the first day, because the ones you show us here are awesome. people do look so calm and busy with doing their daily things.👍

They do get support by people like Nok - The Farmer and also the government tries to protect them and letting them live the life they choose.

Good to read about this that even the government is behind the choice from the people to live their own life.


Yooooooooooooo @guchtere! Nice to hear from you buddy!

Yeah it indeed was a magical experience. Something very different to all other trips I've done so far.
And yes, networking is everything. Without the connections I would have never been able to visit this place. But that's something what always brings us forward - Connecting with others.

Cheers! :))

Remy @guchtereAugust 2019

Are there any more trips like these in your agenda? As you already have the connections probably 😉


Wow, this is sounds like a truly life-changing experience! Thank you so much for sharing it with us Chris. Amazing post full of stunning photos. Top notch report.


Hey bro! Thanks a ton for stopping by! I'm really glad you like it :))


Awesome, love the dedication and persistence you had in covering the tribe. I especially loved the pictures of the dogs (animal lover here) and seeing people in their natural way of life.


Thank you very much @coquiunlimited - Highly appreciate that you took the time to read this article.
And yes, there were a lot of dogs up the mountain living with the tribe :))


Thank you so much for sharing this. I think I can imagine how you must have felt beeing there. An experience of a lifetime. When I was a teenager there were still unknown tribes around the world that had not been visited by the "civilized" world. My first experience with "natives" of a country, was a stay at a Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakoka, USA in 1974! That's how I stated my interest for traveling and discovering our diverse planet. I think we have a lot to learn from people living much more in harmony with our earth. Great reading, which I enjoyed very much :) Ulla


Hi Ulla :))
Thanks for your beautiful comment. Your experience with the Sioux Indian sounds very exciting as well. And I agree, there is so much out to learn for us.
Thanks! Chris


Great story, of course i did not know this tribe but it is always interesting to see how smaller and isolated communities live. Amazing photos also:)


Thank you @georgeboya !


Absolutely amazing. Beautiful post. The insights, the genuine writing, the photography, all of it.

It’s very cool that you were able to share this with SteemFest Thailand only a few months away.


Thank you for taking the time and reading my report @nateaguila - Highly appreciated!

Thats true, I'm already very excited for SF4! Cheers :))


Wow this is crazy... anthropology on steem deserves to be upvoted on @stemsteem @steemstem


Thanks! :))


I can totally relate to how you're feeling that moment. It was how I felt when I first saw this certain tribe here in our town. I've always been interested in them since then. I wish I could finally find that time to visit their village and take photos/videos (with their permission of course) on how they spend their day. Glad you had this trip. I can feel your excitement and how much you enjoyed that experience from reading your post. Your photos are full of life as always. Stay safe, and cheers to more fascinating trips! =)


Thank you so much for your comment! It definitely was exciting as it is so fascinating to see a world outside of the norm. It really brought me back to think more about the basics of life.
Thanks :))


but dude this is such an amazing post, this guy got to go post with a remote secret negroid tribe in south thailand, amazing they are african but live THAAAt far away, and he gottehior permission fo cours ebut yeah thsi reminds me of STEEM TRIBES and also, its already liek over $30 on trending thanks to Steem Press i think but dude its a perfect anthropology post for steemstem or stemsteem or whatever

So cool how he didnt show teh exact location so you would have to go there to find them. There are all sorts of ACTUAL tribes of people who could and SHOULD learn about steem and steem engine, its not like they should be "saved" from white man tech its too late they already use it and its no white tech its built by asians nowadays its earth tech and its actually a GREAT idea to be like the UN, and go around, give free scholarships to some of these remote iisolated tribes, to help them actually keep their culture alive, ... i had this idea years ago but smt and communities never came out well, now it can happenb
the new steemit inc delegation and SPS can provide funding to pay the ENG fees to create TRIBES for these people in remote areas, not ironically using teh word tribe, im serious.... its a good idea and it can get major funding from the UN and NGOs and World WildLife Fund and all sorts of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation money can come in to help fund Steem Engine Tribes for REAL HUMAN tribes, to keep the cultures of endangered peoples alive, via cryptocurrency,


Excellent. You really captured their daily life. Move over National Geographic make room for @worldcapture.


Thank you so much @willowwisp ! Well, one day - Hopefully :D