What our customers have to say
We get fan mail from our guests about the special experiences they have when they travel with Purple Dragon. We have asked permission from some of them to share their comments with you. Some of these were sent to us in celebration of our 20th anniversary in August 2018.
We have used Purple Dragon many times. If you want something different, a full-on tour, or a relaxing time in a quiet beautiful place, Purple Dragon is the place to go. We have traveled to Hong Kong, Singapore, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia with Purple Dragon. Of all these places, our two most memorable experiences were a commitment ceremony in Laos and a wonderful stay in Chang Mai at a beautiful Hotel--luxury at its best.
-- Michael D., Melbourne, Australia (eight trips since 2009)
Traveling with Purple Dragon has encouraged me to explore places I likely never would have gone to on my own. Having your guides and drivers to help me get around and communicate has allowed me to relax and enjoy the experiences since you take care of almost everything. And I've been able to get to some rather rural places that would have been much more challenging to do myself. Southeast Asia is now one of my favorite parts of the world.
-- Glenn A., Arlington, Virginia (Ruby Member, eight trips since 2007)
We've been Purple Dragon fans almost as long as we can remember. Angkor Wat was our first trip with you guys in 2005. We just returned from our 27th Purple Dragon trip, eleven of which have included Angkor Wat and surrounding areas. Angkor is not the kind of place you should visit only once. Obviously we have found plenty of things that are completely new to us to keep us busy. This photo was taken at the north gate of Angkor Thom. Our guides usually find some temple sites that are off the beaten track and fairly unknown to tourists. We love to have places like that all to ourselves.
Neither one of us can take long vacations because of our jobs, so we travel twice a year from San Francisco to spend about ten days in Purple Dragon's hands. We've been to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, India, Bhutan and some beach resorts in Thailand. We're considering Bhutan again, as well as a taste of Sri Lanka and some spots in Myanmar we missed the first time.
We use Purple Dragon because it's almost effortless for us. We love the service and their outstanding guides. We always have a day in Bangkok no matter where we plan to go, and in 27 visits Peng, our favorite guide, has always managed to find something or some place new. That's a real accomplishment! Compared to people we know who are "DIY" travelers, we get a lot more for our money. We can't imagine traveling as far as we do to spend precious time wandering around with a copy of (popular guide books) and trying to figure out what we are looking, like some people we know. Thanks for taking such great care of us.
-- Jeff W. and Mark A., San Francisco (27 trips since 2005
It's all about the guides, especially the ones in Thailand and Cambodia where Purple Dragon has the most control. I've been to Thailand ten times and have used Purple Dragon extensively in Thailand an in other Asian countries. Although I've been to Thailand so many times, on each occasion, I learn more and more about Thai culture from the Purple Dragon guides. They're simply the best there is. And they're very flexible too. Been there, done that already? No problem, the guides will instruct the driver to bring you somewhere incredible where you've never been before. They'll introduce you to foods you'd otherwise not know about, etc. The guides hired through other agencies for other countries have also been good but some have lacked that fabulousness so often seen with the Purple Dragon guides.
The itineraries, too, are well planned. Yes, there are the usual, crowded must-see tourist attractions but one of the best things about Purple Dragon is that they offer so many opportunities for exploring the real heart of the country you're visiting with some offbeat and fascinating places to experience. And once again, it's the guides that make it all possible.
-- Tom N., Oregon USA (ten trips since 2004)
We have done three extensive trips with Purple Dragon and each one is spectacular! From booking and the knowledge of the staff, to listening about your individual likes and dislikes, to wonderful hand selected hotels, to fabulous and knowledgeable tour guides in each and every city, this operation is first class without breaking your pocketbook! We have consistently received great service before departure and upon our destinations. Tour guides are almost always true professionals who know their stuff about their cities, friendly and accommodating to your needs. They are there to do their jobs, not be your personal "escort", while being your personal guide throughout. We would HIGHLY recommend any Purple Dragon travel to ANY of our friends, gay or straight! The best!
-- Drew S., West Palm Beach (five trips since 2012)
I want to thank you for providing me with an exceptional tour experience. I was somewhat apprehensive about setting up and paying for a tour online. To my delight, I found it a first class experience; from being met at the airport by handsome young handlers, checking into first rate hotels, drivers who were on time with clean comfortable cars and knowledgeable guides. Thank you!
-- Jay J, Oregon USA (first time traveler)
Twenty years! Congratulations and thank you for providing a much-needed service for these past years. I think my first travels with Purple Dragon (or predecessor) was in the late 1990's. I wanted to explore Asia/SE Asia, but was inexperienced (then) and very apprehensive about "the gay issue" . . . worried not only about safety but also how welcoming hotels/venues would be to gay travelers. So, I was greatly relieved and delighted to have your assistance in creating not only safe/supportive travel experiences, but also carefully crafted, comfortable, culturally-sensitive excursions.
I looked back through my old passports . . . I think I have managed to book more than 20 Purple Dragon trips . . . more are planned (Bhutan and Myanmar soon!). Many memories remain gathered from multiple ventures into Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Laos. Now that I live here (Asia/Thailand) and am a fairly experienced traveler, I know I must remain alert to the "the gay issue." I have come to rely on you to custom create trips that fit me best: culture, history, art, religious/ cultural festivals, architecture, nature/countryside, food . . . each with an emphasis on AUTHENTICITY.
Your respect for the people and culture of each region is revealed in your itineraries (as well as your newsletters). I know I can count on you to ensure knowledgeable, informed, organized guides (a couple of them have now become long-term friends). I am hoping I have a few more years remaining for travels; and hope you are around to guide me/take care of me along the way. Congratulations! Many more to come!
-- MD, Bangkok (Ruby Member, 20-something trips since 2001)
We just got back from our second Purple Dragon trip, this time to Cambodia and Bangkok. Every day was perfect and we had a fantastic time! All of our guides were terrific. Teawas our guide in Phnom Pen and the surrounding areas all the way to Siem Reap. He is fun, smart, knowledgeable and a real pleasure to be with the entire time. Chonnwas our guide in the Seim Reap area and Angkor Wat. Chonnis fantastic. He is a really nice man, has a terrific sense of humor and went out of his way to make sure we had a great time. Peng was our guide in Bangkok and he is a delight. He is thoughtful, generous, exceptionally knowledgeable and made our time in the Bangkok area perfect. We highly recommend Purple Dragon to everyone--we will certainly use your services again--and we especially want to compliment our guides!
-- Alan and Daniel, Palm Springs/Pereth (two trips with us since 2006)
I loved the opportunities to visit several countries with Purple Dragon. Each was a unique and tailored experience: candle-lit Buddhist caves in Laos, early morning views from stupas in Bagan, fantastic food in Saigon, the Hindu temples of Khajuraho, India. And so much more. What made each and every trip rich in culture were the incredible guides. Purple Dragon is a precious purple jewel.
-- Barry W., Richmond BC (six trips since 2002)
Ten of the best travel days I've ever had.
-- Steve J., Buenos Aires (first time guest 2017)
Traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia with Purple Dragon. Local guides used by Purple Dragon are extremely knowledgeable and speak very good English. The experience is great as it is your trip and not part of a group.
The trips therefore are designed around what you want to do. Purple Dragon provides some great "add on trips" so you can custom build your holiday. Even once you have started your trip, there is great flexibility so you can discuss with your guide each day specifically what you want to do and see. In Cambodia, Purple Dragon took me away from the usual tourist hot spots so I could see some of the real Cambodia out in the countryside. The guide cheerfully amended the itinerary to go to places where I could purchase locally made goods, including to shops and restaurants that train disadvantaged teenagers in hospitality and catering skills.
I grew to love the country but despaired at the poverty including the lack of opportunities for young children that leads many to become victims of child exploitation. I became interested in knowing if I could provide some help to children. I did some research on the internet but couldn't find exactly what I had in mind. I talked to Purple Dragon and thanks to their advice I now sponsor the education of two lovely children knowing that all my contribution is spent on providing them with the opportunities we in the UK simply take for granted. My life changing moment indeed!
So I guess that shows the Purple Dragon difference: it is a company with the local insider knowledge that, depending on the traveler, will enrich your experience of a great part of the world. I have traveled to Asia with other companies and I have found that Purple Dragon is no more expensive and, for everything stated above, is good value for money.
--Ian C, UK (two trips with us since 2013)