It is no accident that Thailand has become known as the "Land of Smiles." Many of the guests who have used Purple Dragon for their first adventure in Thailand return year after year.
Why visit Thailand? Where do we begin? To start with, Thailand is easy to get to. Bangkok is Southeast Asia's busiest transportation hub. Most visitors enjoy the year 'round tropical weather, zesty and delicious Thai food, magnificent beaches, endless adventures, world-class hotels, unbelievably low prices, mind-boggling shopping, rich culture, handsome people, and some of the world's most exciting nightlife.
The variety of things to do and see in Thailand is staggering. Whether you love all of the pleasures of big cities, or the quiet quiet seclusion of a white sand beach, you will have plenty to choose from. You can learn to cook your favorite Thai dishes like a pro, learn to dive, enjoy daily spa treatments, explore sea caves in a kayak, play golf, do your holiday shopping in July, get an inexpensive tummy tuck, dance the night away, ride an elephant, see priceless religious treasures, or just read a book on the beach. Sorry, you can not ski in Thailand (yet). Bargain prices make the Land of Smiles one of the best vacation values you can find. Thailand has plenty to offer visitors regardless of budget.
Planning Your Holiday
Whether you are a first-time visitor to Thailand, or planning your 20th adventure, Purple Dragon offers all-inclusive travel programs throughout Thailand and beyond that will meet your requirements perfectly. For first-time visitors, the best program includes Bangkok, Chiang Mai and at least one great beach resort destination. If you have more time, we can help you explore Thailand in more depth, or introduce you to some of our other wonderful nearby countries.
All of Purple Dragon's travel packages are private. Why spend your vacation on a bus with a group of strangers when you can have a personal guide and travel at your own pace? And why rely on an out-of-date guide book to find the local gay scene when we can show you where the nightlife is? Your guide is like a personal concierge who helps you get around, find great places to eat, and enjoy shopping without having to struggle with language or local customs.
Our programs are all modular , which means they are completely flexible and designed to be used in combination. Choose one or more destinations, add any extra sightseeing you like and your trip is tailor-made to suit your own schedule, tastes and budget. Your private tour includes personal guides, so you'll never be herded around on a bus with 40 strangers. You can usually begin any day you like. Although we have already chosen the optimum number of days to visit each place you can easily extend your stay.
Our Private Guides have become legendary. They really love to introduce visitors to their culture and go out of their way to make sure all of our guests' individual interests are accommodated. They also share insights into gay life with our guests. The flexibility of having a private guide means that you get to see and do exactly what you want. Your time is never held hostage by 40 other people in a bus. Shopping instead of temples? You're the boss!
Bangkok, the Big Mango ▸ We offer a jet lag-friendly program for first-time visitors to Bangkok, a two-night quickie that includes quality time with one of our famous guides, and a Thai cooking school program. We can also help you with an incredible array of day trips.
Chiang Mai and the North ▸ Experience the "other" Thai Culture in the former Kingdom of Lanna. You can shop endlessly, ride elephants, hunt for wild orchids near spectacular waterfalls, visit ethnic minority villages, or sample take in Chiang Mai's gay scene. We offer three programs in Chiang Mai (including a Thai cooking course) plus Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle.
Beach Holidays in Thailad ▸ Thailand is home to some of the best beaches in the world. We offer a full range of holidays in Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya and Koh Ngai, including some couples-only programs using gay and lesbian-friendly hotels and beach resorts. There are no nude beaches in our part of the world.
Purple Dragon also offers an almost-endless number custom tours options, and we are happy to customize our existing packages. The most popular custom programs are overnight/long stay holidays places like Hua Hin, and extensive trips by road from Bangkok to Isan, Thailand's North-Eastern Lao-influenced agrarian province.
Begin your Thailand holiday with an artful medical solution to ageing. The nose you have always wanted? Erase those bags under your eyes? A little bit less around the waist or the neck? Thailand has some of the world's best health care at amazingly low prices. Recover in a fabulous beach resort and return home looking completely rested! (Your friends need never know how you did it.)
If you need dental work or are considering cosmetic surgery, " lunch hour face lifts ," comprehensive medical exams, or other elective procedures, it is possible that you can save enough money by taking advantage of Thailand's world-class medical resources to pay for most or all of your holiday. We have researched hospitals and clinics in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai extensively. You can read more and get help with referrals in our Wellness & Beauty resources.
There is no bad time to visit Thailand. It's fresh and exciting throughout the year. Thailand is blessed with a year 'round tropical climate, so there really is no bad time to visit. High season for tourists is October through March, with peak season in December and January. It almost gets cool during peak season. While foreigners find it balmy, Thais bundle up in turtlenecks and down jackets. Peak season prices are normally higher than the rest of the year and some beach resorts have minimum stays over the holidays.
Our warmest, driest months are April and May. July through September is the "green season." You can expect a refreshing half-hour downpour about every other day. Many of our guests prefer to visit this time of year because prices are lower, crowds are smaller and it does not resemble a Hollywood-style monsoon.
Passports & Visas
For citizens of most countries, either no visa is required, or visas are issued on arrival. We will give you plenty of help to prepare for your adventure in Thailand, including detailed "Before You Go" information.
Gay Life in Thailand
Thailand is widely recognized as the most open minded and welcoming country in Asia for LGBTQ visitors, where gay Thais live fairly openly, often identifying as a "third sex." In terms of entertainment, Thailand has it all--bars, restaurants, discos, saunas and massage businesses abound in major cities. Even in some smaller towns there are karaoke bars and mini-discos that cater mostly to LGBTQ customers.
Retire in Thailand!
Many of our long-time guests return here every year, and some have chosen to retire here in the Land of Smiles, where the weather and lifestyle may be more relaxed than their home countries, and their money sometimes goes farther. We have experience helping people make informed decisions in Thailand, then helping them to prepare for one of the biggest changes in their lives. This includes dealing with many issues that are often taken for granted, like choosing the right place to live, bringing pets, dealing with the Thai legal system (leases, etc.), visas, banking, health care, language, supermarkets, domestic help, language, and more without losing your sense of humor.
Who We Are
Purple Dragon is Asia's oldest (20 years and counting), largest (ten countries) tour company specializing in discerning LGBTQ travelers. All of our tours are private and you can begin most of them any day. If you like more than one of our programs (we hate to call them tours), you can put them back to back to create your own personal adventure. We live and work in Asia, so we have actual personal knowledge of the places and hotels we offer, and operations staff work for us in eight countries, so we know who our guests are going to be coming face to face with when they travel with us. While we pioneered LGBTQ travel to Thailand and nine other Asian countries, everyone is welcome to travel with us!