Go Away With … Shannon Lee


By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Media Services
November 22, 2011

As a little girl, Shannon Lee grew up in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The only surviving child of Bruce Lee — who would’ve celebrated his 71st birthday this year — Shannon is the CEO of Bruce Lee Enterprises and president of the board of directors for the Bruce Lee Foundation. Based out of L.A., the 42-year-old actress/singer/entrepreneur may be seen next in “I Am Bruce Lee,” a feature-length documentary that will soon air on Spike TV.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. It depends on what I want to do on my vacation. I love going to Kauai. I love the tropical weather, the lush landscapes and seascapes. There’s a particular ease that takes over your body when you wrap yourself in those warm trade winds. I also have dear friends there so it’s like family — family you actually like hanging out with! It used to be that you had to stop in Hawaii when traveling from the West Coast to Asia and we would stop there often so my relationship with Hawaii is long and enduring. I also love the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. I stay with friends there and we eat and shop till we drop.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Weekend getaways are too few and far between! Santa Barbara is great. Ojai (in California) is a lesson in relaxation. Vegas is a lesson in sleep deprivation and sensory overload but very fun. Palm Springs is nice, too!

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is wonderful. There’s a little something for everyone there in the way of recreation and relaxation. I recently stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo. What a beautiful view of the city from the rooms! I have fond memories of the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong as well. The nighttime view of the harbor is stunning, almost mesmerizing.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. Well, Arirang Korean Restaurant in Hong Kong is a sentimental favorite. I love Korean barbecue and this place is just full of great memories with family and friends. We eat there almost every time I’m in Hong Kong. When I was doing concerts in Hong Kong in 2004, we had it brought into the Hong Kong Coliseum some nights before the show! Also, NBC Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park, Calif., has great dim sum — authentic, great variety, delicious. You can really scratch your dim sum itch there. Lastly let me say this: New Orleans — from my old sentimental favorite of turtle soup and bread pudding souffle at Commander’s Palace to burgers and grilled pecan pie a la mode at Camellia Grill to hot 3 a.m. beignets at Cafe Du Monde and on and on. I love it!

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. My MacBook, my Kindle or book, a journal, my iPhone, something comfortable to put on at the end of the day, hair rubber bands to get my long hair up off me when I need it, my perfume oils, my earrings and a basic makeup kit to go from flat to fabulous at a moment’s notice.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. Any surprise that I would say Hong Kong? I love Hong Kong. It’s my home away from home! New Orleans. I lived there for six years and fantasize repeatedly about spending more time there. I’ve had wonderful adventures and experiences in Prague, Amsterdam and Hakone (in Japan). But if we are talking about places I return to spend time, it would be Hong Kong, New Orleans, New York City, Kalaheo, Kauai and Los Angeles.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. It depends. I travel for work a lot so, if that is the case, I generally do zero research because I won’t have any free time anyway. But if I’m going somewhere completely new and I’m going to be exploring, I love to buy a guidebook and pour through it. I also like to find a personal connection — someone who’s been there or lives there who can give me some insider info on where to go and what to do.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. I love to travel and hope to see most of the world some day. Top of my list: Egypt. Machu Picchu, Peru. Turks and Caicos (never been to the Caribbean). I’d love to see some of the wildlife of Africa — from the mountain gorillas to a Kenyan safari. New Zealand. And on and on…


© 2011 JAE-HA KIM


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