Daisann McLane is an award winning travel writer and photographer, editor at large for National Geographic Traveler Magazine, and a successful entrepreneur who is the managing director of Little Adventures in Hong Kong, a unique food travel company.
She’s a 5 time winner of the society’s prestigious Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism award; her book, Cheap Hotels (Taschen) won the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for best American travel book of 2003.
Before joining National Geographic, McLane wrote the “Frugal Traveler” column for The New York Times’ travel section for six years, during which time she reported from more than 40 countries. In her distinguished career she has written about travel, culture, food, music and politics for numerous media outlets including the International Herald Tribune, Travel + Leisure, Departures, slate.com, Conde Nast Traveler, Rolling Stone, NPR, the Village Voice and Vogue.
McLane first came to Hong Kong in 2001 and returned a year later to study Cantonese for two semesters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 2005 she has split her year between New York and Hong Kong.
In 2009, sensing the need for a new model of travel service, McLane founded Little Adventures in Hong Kong, a concierge and consulting company designed to help sophisticated international travelers explore Hong Kong’s authentic culture and cuisine, through personally guided and curated walks and food experiences.
McLane’s brainchild has grown from a one person startup to a global brand that has been been recognized widely in the media, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. McLane and her company were honored to be selected last year as the subject of a short documentary by the HKTDC.
In September 2013, Little Adventures, whose staff now comprises 5 of Hong Kong’s most celebrated foodies, journalists (and even a chef!), collaborated with CNN to create the Hong Kong launch event for food travel personality Anthony Bourdain’s new program, Parts Unknown.
McLane is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University where she studied History and won the university’s Willard A. Thorp Thesis prize in American Studies. She also attended Yale University, where she studied in the Graduate School’s doctoral program in American Studies.
The HKSAR Immigration Department has recognized McLane for her unique contribution to Hong Kong by issuing her one of the handful of visas allotted yearly to “exceptional achievers” under the Quality Migrant Scheme.
Also fluent in Spanish, McLane is a frequent public speaker who has presented talks on travel, culture, food and politics in venues as diverse as the Smithsonian Institute, The National Geographic Society, Cuba’s Casa de las Americas, New York University’s American Studies department, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific and the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Hong Kong.