Plan your trip

Daniel McCrohan

Lives in Beijing

  • China

    I've been living in China for the past decade and have travelled to pretty much every corner of the country. I've written multiple editions of the China Lonely Planet and am the senior author for Lonely Planet's Beijing City Guide. I've also written previous editions of the Shanghai and Tibet guidebooks. I'm the co-host of the television travel show, Best in China, and have my own travel app, Beijing on a Budget.
  • India

    I'm the senior author for Lonely Planet's Discover India guidebook, and have written six other guidebooks on India to date, including the past three editions of LP's main India book. I've been travelling to India, on and off, for more than 20 years and have explored pretty much every part of the country. My main regions of expertise are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and the Taj Mahal, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Kerala, but I'll happily help you with trips to other parts of India too.
  • Mongolia

    I've travelled to Mongolia multiple times since moving to north China in 2005. It's an extreme destination, which calls for extreme travel. My first trip here involved me cycling solo across the Gobi Desert, from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing. Since then I've been back to help write the latest edition of the Mongolia Lonely Planet. My main regions of expertise are Ulaanbaatar, Central Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Western Mongolia.
  • Bangladesh

    I am the sole author of Lonely Planet's Bangladesh guidebook, and have enjoyed many months exploring this wonderful, rarely-visited country. I've spent time travelling around every region, from the picture-perfect tea estates of Sylhet to the tiger-filled mangrove forests of Khulna. My top tip for Bangladesh: travel by boat whenever possible.
Amazing ! Have had an awesome time thanks to Daniel - By Anonymous - See this trip
         
Daniel has been amazing - any doubt about Daniel knowing the in's and out's of China should be dispelled when you learn that he is an author of Lonely Planet. But what is more impressive is Daniel's ability to be able to use all his knowledge to create a personalized itinerary for you based on your interests, questions and abilities.

I have loved all his suggestions of staying, food, order of things to do and his inside knowledge of different places. I have enjoyed most places that he had recommended !

He has also been very detailed-oriented which is extremely important especially while travelling in China. To know that once you have taken a print-out of the detailed itinerary by Daniel, you will not need any more guide-books is a very relaxing feeling to have.

More-ever, I have loved Daniel's attitude in answering many of questions time and again. My itinerary in particular was very detailed and unusual since I was travelling on over 12 weekends and I often changed plans based on my time etc. but Daniel was extremely responsive to my many questions and was always able to solve my doubts which helped me immensely.

I also like the fact that Daniel shares his opinions pro-actively and not just reacts to your plans reactively. For example, he has convinced me a couple of times to not go to a particular place etc. or certainly go to a particular place and they have turned out to be great decisions.

Overall, I have had a great time working with Daniel. He is fun to work with, extremely responsive and his knowledge about China is beyond question. He has been able to make the China trip for me and my wife simple and extremely enjoyable. We certainly owe him a large part of the wonderful time we are having here ! If you are coming to China and want to go around this amazing country, we definitely recommend Daniel ! Thanks a lot Daniel.

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12 Weekends in China

Hi Daniel,

I am excited to plan my China trip with you. I will be traveling with my wife (both of us are 27) to China for 3 months starting June 1 (approx.). We will be based out of Suzhou. Here are more details.

a) Weekdays I will be busy in the office but my wife would be at home. I would love to have some suggestions on things to do near Suzhou. Some classes that she join that are famous - like is cooking/food a big thing, is accupuncture a big thing in Suzhou ?

b) I would love to travel on all the weekends that I have available. I can also sometimes take Friday or Monday off so if your suggestion is to go to a place that would take 3 days we would love to hear that as well.

c) I am looking to cover a lot of what China is (I know its impossible to cover everything as China is so rich in history, culture and size) but would love to see all highlights + travel the less explored areas as well. Me and my wife are pretty open to different places having travelled quite a bit. For example, I would love to see the Shaolin Monastry, would love to go on an amazing train journey, would love to hike (more on this later), would love to go to a village to take part in a cultural festival etc.

d) Budget wise - Since I plan to travel a lot, I want to do individual trips for cheap. We are open to travel by train, bus etc. However, if there is a need to reach somewhere early to cover more, we can take some flights as well. Accomodation - I am super duper open to accommodation - as long as it safe, I am good. I would love to explore different types of accommodation (quintessential Chinese accomation would be awesome). For example, while I was travelling in Japan for three months, I stayed in a Capsule hotel, a ryokan etc. It was all wonderful experience. If there is an accommodation that is a bit expensive but you think its totally worth it, I am open to discussing that as well. What I am looking for is a set of amazing unique experiences.

e) Food wise, I am super excited to taste everything that China has. My only dietary restriction is BEEF (due to religious reasons). My wife is also pretty open though she needs her dose of chicken and veggies every now and then :). I would love to try out different restaurants, different styles of cuisine etc.

g) I would be in Beijing for a week in those 3 months for work so I would love to know all about Beijing that I can do over weekdays and what to cover on that weekend (all trip nears to Bejining can be done that weekend).

h) My wife would be at home while I am at work so suggestions for her are very important (things that she can explore during the day).

Thanks a lot - I would love to have a skype call with you to get this going. I am decently well read on China (and currently reading more on Lonely planet :) )

Looking forward,
Ashish

Itinerary: 12 Days in China (for Vegetarians)

Daniel

My parents (in their mid 50's) are planning a trip (12 odd days) to China. Have given details on their likes/dislikes, their expectation from the trip. Would request you to create an amazing itinerary for them. They plan to travel in the 3rd week of May for about 12 odd days


About them

They do not mind walking. They are fine with spending money where required, but are conscious of it being value for money. They enjoy curated experiences, more than just point to point check boxes on things to do. They are not extremely hardy, they want a comfortable stay, not super luxurious but not a backpackers inn too.


What we are looking to get out of our trip to China

Shopping (3-4 days):

- Great place for shopping clothes, household items
- Place where you can do business with suppliers, network with them, identify products for trade (trade fairs). What is the best way to do it?

What we mean by shopping is of products that are made and exported (consumer goods, clothes). We are not that keen on the local handicrafts/ silks/ cottage industry stuff. The intention is to generate trade associations, meet suppliers, check out amazing products people come up with etc. and from what I have heard you can shop in the same region. Think Chengdu might be good, not sure? From Chengdu, a 2 day trip to a very interesting picturesque place in Tibet would be great too


Food:

- We are vegetarians, but love exploring local food places, trying local flavors. We savor amazing food, right from Michelin star restaurants to street food places, but we are vegetarians


Nature (3-4 days):

- Want to see the stunning places. While we are there want to have a customized experience (for instance a river cruise with food served) etc. This is just an example, we may not know what all can be done. You can get creative and curate the perfect experience


City (4-5 days):

- Focus on curation of experiences in the city (Shanghai, Beijing)


Knowledge:

- We want to learn about Chinese medicine. Have an authentic experience of Chinese medicinal techniques, learn few techniques, buy something

Questions

Any ways in which travelers can teach English for a few days, earn some money?

Any other creative way to earn money, while you are traveling?


Based on the above:

Which are the places they should go to?

How should they travel? Can they do some legs by train? How safe and comfortable are the trains?

Trans Siberian from Beijing to Yekaterinburg

2 Indian travelers from Dubai. One vegetarian and one strictly vegan. We want to take the Trans Siberian starting Beijing and ending either at Yekaterinburg (low cost flight back) or Vladivostok (ferry to South Korea or Japan).



  • We want to spend max 1 day in Beijing.

  • We want to break our journey in 2 places, in Mongolia for 3-5 days and at Lake Baikal

  • I am very active outdoor adventurer, and looking for borderline adrenaline experiences such as paragliding, sydiving, paramotoring, horse riding, cycling, hiking, trekking open to expeditions, ancient ruins, local experiences, staying in yurts/gers etc

  • how do we manage diet?

  • want to do something meaningful and experience something magnificent do you think 3-5 days is enough?

  • what can we do in and around Lake Baikal do you recommend moving east or west from Irkutsk?