Purple Dragon
Bulletin from Bangkok

The newsletter of Purple Dragon Ltd's private travel club.

Purple Dragon pioneered gay Asian travelMay 2013

Contact us: [email protected]

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No, We Did Not All Die in a Plane Crash

We have received several emails from concerned Members who are worried because they have not heard form us in a while. We are all still alive and doing well, thank you.

We had planned a February newsletter that would focus on China. Then it became a March Newsletter, before it became an April newsletter. A lot of things happened between between January and May and Douglas simply has had no time to give me all of the details we needed to write about China. So I am sending this mini-newsletter to bring you up to date on several things while we wait and wait and wait.

The first  distraction was moving all of our company's websites (there are quite a few) to a brand new dedicated server that has global "cloud" capabilities. I am not quite sure what this means but it certainly has nothing to do with the weather. This was quite a tedious undertaking and I am told that a lot of profanity was used in four or five different languages. The result (of the move, not the profanity) is more reliability. Our pages will load more quickly, and we will be able to use new technology that was not possible before.

Purple Dragon's window signPurple Dragon also made a big move. After about 15 great years in Tarntawan Place Hotel, the company packed up and moved to Charn Issara Tower, on Rama 4 Road, just around the corner from the Jim Thompson store between Silom and Surawong. The new digs are on the second floor adjacent to the escalator and next door to the popular Up2 Salon. The new office has twice as much space, an en suite with a shower, a pantry, a storage room, and even a photo studio space for our friend Darika Watchalottaporn.

Purple Dragon also took care of some mega-groups in April, which means practically everyone in the office was tied up in knots before, during and after these events. Whew! It's over, and things are getting back to normal, which means everyone is overwhelmed with updating prices and with early high season bookings.

To see photos from the new office (which is not yet completely decorated) click on the photo of our sign. For the address, new phone and fax numbers, and a Googlesque map please visit www.purpledrag.com/contact.htm

New Diamond Membership

Club Sanook has recently added a new Diamond Membership with many fab benefits:

Become a Diamond Member today1. Diamond Members earn 1.5 points (instead of just one point) for each dollar spent on Purple Dragon packages.

2. Diamond Members' points never expire as long as you remain a Diamond Member.

3. Any expired points will be returned to your account when you become a Diamond Member.

4. Diamond Members get a 10% discount on the first package they choose once they become a Member, and 5% off all other packages during the period of their Diamond Membership. Discounts apply to the Member and one traveling companion. (Excludes Bhutan and cruises.)

There are two ways you can become a Diamond Member: You can pay a fee of $250 for a three year Diamond Membership. Or you can buy five shares in the new projects Darika and Purple Dragon are already working on.

If you are already a Member and want to upgrade Diamond status, please contact Miss Fu, our Membership Secretary. If you have been notified that your Membership has expired, please re-join and tick the "Diamond Membership" space on the application form. Memberships are for individual persons and not households and are not transferrable.

FootprintLeave Your Footprint, Earn 100 Points!

Let's be Frank (or Dennis or Sally if you like), some people join Club Sanook and forget about us completely. Or do not add our address to their email address book so  announcements of new newsletters end up in their junk folder. So why should I go to a lot of trouble to write tantalizing newsletters they never read. We do not think it is asking too much to expect Members to read at least one newsletter a year in order to retain their Membership and any Purple Bonus Points they have earned. We know that you have read a newsletter when you "Leave Your Footprint" and we will add 100 Purple Bonus Points to your account

Off the Beaten Path in Cambodia

There is more to Cambodia than Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh. If you have already "been there and done that" and want to see the real Cambodia that most visitors miss, we have something new new for you.

Although we have not named it and it is not yet on the Purple Dragon website, we are operating an overnight trip between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (and vice versa) that includes some some unusual, exciting, and culturally authentic stops. You you will visit a village of silver smiths, and a town where people drive from miles around to buy fried tarantulas (a tasty snack that is said to alleviate car sickness). Then Kompong Cham for one of the best lunches of your life and a visit to a Buddhist temple built within the ruins of a Khmer temple.

On the way to Kompong Thom you will make a stop at a rubber plantation and a town where just about everyone carves Buddha statues of every size from local stone. Overnight at a really lovely hotel with a pool. The next day you visit the remarkable pre-Angkorean temple at Sambor Prey Kuk before continuing on to Siem Reap.

Our Douglas recently made this trip with Jeff Wood and Mark Abate and their friend Jeffrey (on their 17th or 18th trip with Purple Dragon--I'm still trying to sort that out). Jeff, who is a talented photographer, put together a collection of photos from their entire trip, which also included Bangkok and Phnom Penh,  in a format that is probably better than the web page we will come up with. He has generously allowed us to publish it here.

By the way, they were the first guests to stay at the gorgeous new Rambutan Resort in Phnom Penh. It is owned by the guys who own Golden Banana in Siem Reap. It's a winner and we have already included it among the hotels Purple Dragon offers in Phnom Penh.

ceiling  Douglas Swoons  Sambort Prey  Kuk

  Silversmith at work


click photos to enlarge

Stone Carving Village

Speaking of hotels, Siem Reap's Shinta Mani, one of our favorites, will open a second hotel across the road from the original property in August. Douglas our local manager Rath saw the mock-up room there a couple of weeks ago and were very impressed. 

The new property will have 64 rooms and suites, a large salt water pool,  restaurant, spa and expansive gardens. The existing hotel facility has been gutted and is being  refurbished by acclaimed architect and designer Bill Bensley. We have already added the new Shinta Mani Resort to all of our Angkor  Wat programs. The original hotel will become
Club Shinta Mani.


Happy Ending: It's in the Bag

If you own a shop (or even a supermarket) that sells food, luggage, apparel,  gifts or just about anything else you might be interested in these fantastic bags we  found in Cambodia. They are made out of recycled sacks that originally held cement, rice, fertilizer or animal feed. They are covered in a very durable clear plastic and are lined with cotton fabric. There are three styles: large and jumbo shopping bags with a zipper on the top; a medium-sized shoulder bag with a flap, a zippered compartment on the back, and a large inside compartment  with pockets and a zipper compartment; and, smaller shoulder bags with a zipper on top.  These bags are colorful, inexpensive, fun and very good for the environment. Many cities (San Francisco and Sydney come to mind) have banned freee paper or plastic bags in retail stores, and this is a growing trend as more and more local governments are dealing with landfill and ecological issues. These are a terrific alternative for people who love the planet and want to use recycled products as an alternative to tomorrow's garbage.  They are made by a non-profit organization in Cambodia. You can order as few as 50. If you are interested please let us know and we will facilitate your order.

shopping bags Shoulder Bags smaller shoulder bags

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Copyright 2013 Purple Dragon Ltd. All rights reserved.
No animals were harmed in the making of this newsletter.