Two of the guidebooks I've worked on have been released in the last couple of months: Lonely Planet China and Lonely Planet India.
For LP India I covered Himachal Pradesh and the West Bengal Hills. My personal favourite was definitely Spiti but I also always enjoy returning to Dharamsala after so many trips to Tibet.
My top tips for HP: the Orchard House in Chamba as a super peaceful place to hang out for few days in the foothills and do some day hikes (great trekking opportunities in Chamba Valley!). I'd also recommend taking a few days and walk one of the homestay treks around Kaza in Spiti.
Holumba Haven who showed me some great regional hikes that I was able to squeeze into this edition of the guide. Anyone who has read the travel accounts of Francis Younghusband, Alexandra David-Neel, Charles Bell and Heinrich Harrer will definitely want to savour a beer at Himalayan Hotel, where all of these illustrious travellers spent a night before embarking on a classic Himalayan voyage.
My last tip: I thoroughly recommend a home stay and tea tasting at Makaibari Tea Estate. You can overnight in a homestay with a tea worker, pick leaves with them in the morning, roast them in the afternoon and then take away a packet of your very own hand-picked tea. How's that for a cool Christmas present?
More to come: currently putting the finishing touches to new editions of Lonely Planet guides to Bhutan and Central Asia, for publication in 2014. It's been a busy summer...
Views of Kangchenjunga from Kalimpong walk
Freshly picked tea leaves from tea estate in Darjeeling