Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
I hate tours. Are yours different?
What is gay about your destinations?
What makes your packages gay?
Why use you when I can do it myself?
Can I use a different hotel?
Can you find me a traveling companion?
Can I get a proposal/price quote?
I can't find prices.
Your prices seem high. Why?
What's so great about your guides?
Can you customize my trip?
Can you help with my small group?
Can you book my flights?
Can you send me a brochure?
How do I make reservations?
Are my details really private?
My question is not in this list
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Question

Who or what is Purple Dragon Ltd.?

Answer

Purple Dragon Ltd is Asia's oldest, largest travel company specializing in helping gay and lesbian visitors explore Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Hong Kong, India Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Founded as an alternative to sex tourism in 2008, we have more experience and more countries than any other gay travel company in Asia.

Question

What does Purple Dragon have to offer?

AnswerPurple Dragon offers private modular tours that include hotels, private transportation, local guides, admission costs, as well as other unique activities, like boat trips, hikes, bike trips, shows or planned interaction with local people. We do not offer hotel-only bookings or sightseeing separate from our all-inclusive tours in most places.
Question

Do your tour guides speak languages other than English?

AnswerIn many places we work we are able to provide competent tour guides who speak Francais, Espanol, Deutsch, Italiano, 日本語, or 中文 Hindi, and Dzongka. We need to make arrangements for this between 60 and 90 days in advance and you should expect an additional cost of US$20 to US$50 per day.
Question

I hate tours. Why are yours different?

Answer

Unfortunately, we are stuck with the word "tour" which conjures up images of a bus full of strangers being herded from place to place and following tour guides with flags on a stick. We call our programs "tours" and "packages" because we have not found a better word to describe what we do. Ultimately, we are not in the business of selling tours, but of creating experiences.

All of our programs are "modular." There are no groups involved because we use private guides and vehicles practically everywhere. You can begin any day you like in most of the places we visit. That means you can simply choose the destinations you like the most, choose the date you want to begin and leave the rest to us. And you can put two or more back-to-back to include just the places you want to see with the time you have available. It's that simple!

All of our programs include hotel accommodations, private airport transportation, touring with a carefully chosen, private English-speaking guide, admission costs to all of the places you visit, a private car and driver in most places. Some itineraries include extras like events, performances and special meals. Your guide gives you his full attention and tailors your days together according to your personal interests. Before your trip we are also able to customize arrangements to suit your needs. You can read more about our guides here.

Try just one of our "UNtours" and you will be convinced that Purple Dragon's professional, personalized approach to travel planning is a great alternative to traveling with a group of strangers or fussing with all the details yourself.

Question

What is so gay about your destinations?

AnswerWe are often asked is "What is so 'gay' about a tour to Cambodia? (or Vietnam, or Myanmar or Laos?)" After all, none of those places are known for gay life and have few or no exclusively-gay nightlife venues. Some tour operations add pre-arranged "companionship " as a magic ingredient to a fairly typical sightseeing trip and voilà? You have a "gay tour." You probably already know that pimping is not a part of our concept. Most of guests find it very easy to meet new friends (and sometimes even permanent relationships) without our help once they are here.
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Question

OK, so what makes Purple Dragon's tour packages gay?

Answer
For us here are the four unique magic ingredients:
  • Our management and customer service staff are gay. Our guests never have to be secretive, shy or embarrassed when they deal with us before they visit our part of the world. We have been traveling in Asia for a long, long time and we are sensitive to the many ways our guests are different from everyone else.
  • We choose our hotels very carefully to assure our guests have a comfortable experience. If you are traveling with your boyfriend, you will never have to be embarrassed when you ask for a queen size bed when you check in. We have probably already instructed the hotel in advance anyway. In most of our hotels, guests are not a problem and hotel staff are not critical or judgmental.
  • Our tour guide staff are outstanding. Most are openly gay. We are not absolutely sure about the rest (who may not be entirely sure themselves). We choose guideswho are knowledgeable, skilled, proud to show visitors their culture, and not afraid to talk about their own lives. Our guests never have to hear a guide's stories about his girlfriend (unless the guide is a lesbian, of course) or sick jokes about poofs. That said, it is not possible to find openly gay guides in some places since being openly gay is not accepted yet by society. In Myanmar, India, and several rural places where we offer custom tours, it is unlikely that you will get a guide who is gay, although all guides are gay-friendly. There are no gay venues or openly gay life in these places anyway.
  • You can rely on us for discretion. We keep all of our customer details under lock and key in a country where privacy is protected by law. We never give, trade or sell any information about anyone who chooses us to provide their personal travel arrangements.
  • Question

    Why should I book with Purple Dragon instead of doing everything myself?

    Answer

    Even great cooks appreciate a dinner in a fine restaurant where a chef does all the shopping, slicing, dicing, cooking and dish washing. In a restaurant, you can relax and spend your time enjoying the company and food. When you leave the job to reputable kitchen staff you usually end up with a meal that is more enjoyable than one you might prepare yourself. Using a professional tour planner is much the same.

    We've done all the footwork for you, have personally inspected all the hotels we use, and offer incomparable guides. If you add up all your phone calls, faxes, and time spent making arrangements, our programs cost about the same (and often less). Our itineraries are economical and thoughtfully planned. Because we live here, we have better control over quality and service than someone thousands of miles away. We can also steer you clear of common booby traps set for unsuspecting tourists.

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    Question

    What if I want to stay in a different hotel?

    Answer
    We chose our hotels very carefully for their location, value, high standards of service and gay-friendly attitude. We have inspected every hotel we use and have stayed in most of them. (How many hotel booking websites can say that?) We visit the hotels we use at least once a year, if not more often, and frequently survey new hotels and existing venues to ensure that our guests receive the best possible combination of quality, service and price.

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    Question

    Can you find me a traveling companion?

    AnswerSorry, we do not arrange companionship of any kind. We have found that matching solo guests works out worse than a blind date. If you are thinking of romantic companionship, we can not help with that either. We are not a sex tour operator and none of our staff offer "special" services of any kind.
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    Question

    How do I request a price quote or a proposal?

    Answer
    We do not normally write proposals or quote prices for the simple reason that each of the programs described on our website are, in themselves, a proposal. Prices are published online as well, along with a list of hotels we offer. If you need help with a custom-planned itinerary, we are ready to assist you. Please see our Custom Travelpage for details.
     
    Question

    I can't find prices!

    Answer
    PricesTo find prices, go to any page that describes a unique package (such as Hanoi & Halong Bay). Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see a row of buttons along the bottom left or bottom of the page. Click on the "$ Prices" button to open the price page and see which hotels we use. If the price fails to open or prices seem to be out of date, hold down your "Ctrl" key and press your browser's refresh (circular arrows) button. Prices are complicated because we have multiple hotels in all the places we offer, most hotels have two or more seasonal periods, and because we quote prices in US dollars, Thai baht, Euros and UK pounds. Consequently, we put prices on a different page for easier maintenance when exchange rates change.

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    Question

    Your prices seem high. Why?

    Answer

    Our customers choose Purple Dragon because they know they will get fantastic value for their money. Anyone who believes our prices are high should please consider this:

    Purple Dragon provides the best service available. You don't have to waste your time researching and booking the right hotels, finding an experienced guide, figuring out where to go and what to see.

    We live and work in Southeast Asia and monitor our operations and our hotels constantly to assure the consistent high quality of services we offer. Not only do we provide extensive personalized service for our customers before they travel, but our staff takes great care of you once you arrive here.

    Our programs are all-inclusive. In most cases you get hotel accommodations (including tax, service and breakfast), arrival and departure transportation between airport and your hotel, touring with a carefully chosen, private English-speaking guide, admission costs to all of the places you visit, a private car and driver on most of our tours and often extras like events, performances and special meals.Beware of hidden costswhen you check out other tour companies that have lower prices, because you may end up with unexpected expenses later. Our information about cheap tours in Indiaprobably applies equally to tours in other parts of the world.

    When you compare hotel internet rates with our programs, remember that you get much more than just a room when you choose one of our programs and we normally offer better rooms than hotel booking websites. Our prices include tax and service. By the time you add? tax, service, and airport transportation to internet hotel website rates, our package price is about the same. That means our attentive service and the sightseeing you get with a private guide are virtually free because we can get much lower hotel rates than you can.

    We personally scout out the best places and experiences to be found in the exotic worlds we offer our guests. We personally inspect every hotel we use and have stayed in almost all of them. (How many hotel booking websites can say that?) We've "been there and done that" so that you can enjoy a friendly, safe, relaxing, hassle-free adventure at a reasonable price.

    Many of our guests tell us that prefer to support businesses that are gay owned, gay managed and gay staffed and that they appreciate the higher standard of quality that most gay businesses maintain.

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    Question

    What is so great about your guides?

    Answer
    Our guides are the best we can find. We choose them carefully from hundreds of candidates. All are experienced professionals, chosen for their language skills and personality. Seeing Asia with our guides is more like traveling with a local friend who really loves to share the culture, history and adventure of the place they call home. You never have to try to figure out what to see or how to get there. You won't have to deal with challenges like language barriers or food issues that come with traveling in a new place, and you will never be dragged to shops that pay guides commission. Our guides are famous for their ability to accommodate each guest by listening to your interests and then safely taking you to the very best places that satisfy those interests whether shopping, restaurants, attractions, nightlife, beaches, sports, culture - you name it! You can read more on our Guide page.

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    Question

    Can you create a custom-designed holiday especially for me?

    Answer

    Purple Dragon's concept is based on flexible, modular components which may easily be combined to fit into your holiday schedule. Have a look at our programs and side trips and let us know what appeals to you and what does not. We are happy to help you choose the program(s) best suited for your needs and your budget and show you how to put them in a logical order to create the perfect personalized holiday. We can also make changes to the programs shown on this website like adding or subtracting nights and making minor changes to the schedule or sightseeing.

    We are always happy to consider custom travel requests. Just give us as much information as you can about your dream holiday and we will try to create an itinerary especially for you. The more information you give us, the better--dates, number of people, hobbies or special interests, your age and occupation, and whether you prefer the least expensive, the most lavish hotel accommodation or somewhere in between.

    Please be aware that extensive custom travel plans require quite a bit of our time. To read more about custom designed travel programs visit ourCustom Travel page.

    You should also see our Terms & Conditions for additional information.    
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    Question

    How do I make reservations?

    Answer
    Reserving is easy. Once you have chosen your destinations and travel dates, just start a conversationwith us. We will probably share a few emails to make sure we understand exactly what you need. Then we will send you a detailed "Reservation Summary" that includes information about your itinerary along with payment instructions. If you need help planning your itinerary, all you need to do is use the simple form below and we will assist you every step of the way. You may use your Visa, Master Card, or American Express card. We offer a modest discount if you prefer to send funds directly to our bank. If you are planning a major holiday several months in advance, you may secure your reservations with a non-refundable deposit of 25% to 50% of the total cost if you are member of Club Sanook, our private travel club.Join free here.

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    Question

    Can you help with my small group?

    Answer
    Although we do not offer any groups of our own, we have plenty of experience with groups of 10 to 150 people. We are the local ground operator for several major gay tour companies and travel agencies. If know where and when you want to go and are able to organize the group yourself, we are very happy to help you with professional itinerary planning plus all of the arrangements on the ground from the time you arrive in Asia. You can read more on our "You and your group" page.

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    Question

    Can you book air tickets for me?

    Answer
    Due to government restrictions, you will need to book your own international flight if it originates outside of Southeast Asia. However, we may be able to refer you to a travel agent in your country who can help you with air transportation. For fights within Asia we will suggest flights that fit your itinerary. You will get the lowest fares if you book them yourself online, however.

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    Question

    Can you send me a brochure?

    AnswerPrinted travel brochures are notoriously outdated by the time the ink is dry. Purple Dragon is able to provide a constantly up-to-date brochure our website no farther away than the "Print" button on your Web browser. This allows us to redirect the costs saved on printing expensive brochures into better quality services for our guests.
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    Question

    Are my details really private?

    Answer
    All information we receive from our guests is confidential and we believe we do everything possible to protect it. We do not furnish our customer list or any other guest details to anyone. Credit card details are processed externally, so we never even see your credit card number. Our master customer list is encrypted and can be viewed by only two people in our organization. As our customer you will not receive anything unsolicited or inappropriate. However, you may be invited to join our private travel clubto receive informative and entertaining news from time to time. Whether or not you choose to join is entirely up to you. By placing a reservation you consent to receive email from us that is pertinent to your reservation, including follow up correspondence related to product quality and customer service issues. For complete details please read our privacy policy.
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    Purple Dragon pioneered LGBTQ travel to Asia, but everyone is welcome on our tours!

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