Travel Style: Lee Anne Wong

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Lee Anne Wong

Lee Anne Wong

Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.

Name: Lee Anne Wong

Occupation: Chef/Owner, Koko Head Cafe

Hometown: Troy, NY

Residence: Honolulu, HI

College: Fashion Institute of Technology, The French Culinary Institute

College major: Fashion Design, Culinary

Website: kokoheadcafe.com

Twitter: @leeannewong

Facebook: Lee Anne Wong

Instagram: leeannewong

How often do you fly? My boyfriend lives on Kauai, so pretty much every other week. Japan and NYC mostly a couple of times a year.

How many countries have you been to? Twelve…Spain, France, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Belize, Japan, China, Philippines, Korea, Malaysia.

How many continents have you been to? Three.

Earliest travel memory: I used to play organized youth ice hockey, so that involved driving all over the Northeast and Canada in the car with my dad and brother. Long long car rides. Before Google Maps and GPS.

Favorite American city: NEW YORK FOR LIFE.

Favorite international city: KYOTO.

Least favorite country: That I’ve been to? Korea was a strange place, wonderful, but definitely different feel.

I have no desire to go to: While I would hope to someday see some of the beautiful and ancient cities around Europe and the Middle East, unfortunately political and civil unrest make some of these destinations unsafe in the current climate.

Friendliest people in the world: I have met some of the most incredible people with the true spirit of aloha here in Hawaii.

Favorite World Heritage Site: Historic Oaxaca Centro.

Favorite airline: Hawaiian Airlines!

Favorite aircraft type: Right now the A330.

Aisle or window: Aisle.

Favorite airport lounge: Hong Kong.

Favorite U.S. airport: SFO is pretty dope for foodies.

Favorite international airport: HND Haneda and KIX Osaka.

Favorite hotel: Casa Oaxaca.

Favorite cruise line: I don’t cruise myself, but have cooked on Celebrity Cruises.

Favorite travel credit card: My Amex.

Favorite island: Big Island is pretty amazing. Maui a close second.

Favorite beach: Polihale Coast on Kauai. The edge of the world where the earth and sea meet the stars. Imagine having an entire stretch of beach to yourself.

Favorite National Park: Volcano Park, Big Island.

Favorite fancy restaurant: Kikunoi.

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Izakaya Naru.

Favorite airport restaurant: Tortas Frontera, Gate K, O’Hare.

Favorite bar: Bar Caam Kyoto.

Favorite fruit: Lilikoi.

Favorite food: Really exquisite sushi.

Least favorite food: Canned tuna.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Whiskey.

Favorite travel movie(s): Inception, Fantastic Mr Fox, Amelie, any Jason Bourne movie where Matt Damon is beating the crap out of the bad guys.

Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

Favorite travel book(s): Lonely Planet, “Schott’s Book of Miscellany,” “Schott’s Book of Food and Drink.”

Right now I am reading: The news. Obsessively. Like watching a slow trainwreck.

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Traveler.

Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Booking.com, Travel + Leisure.

5 things you bring on a plane: Headphones, blanket, hydroflask, sleeping mask, chargers.

What do you always seem to forget? The neck pillow! I have like three or four of them.

What do you like least about travel? The thought of being in a flying petri dish with the guy next to me coughing and not covering his mouth.

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Whiskey…preferably Japanese.

Favorite travel app(s): Google Maps, Tokyo and NYC subway maps, Convert Me, Booking.com.

Most embarrassing travel moment: “If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it?” Sort of like the time I drove my moped into a four-foot deep ditch in Cozumel. Only my boyfriend at the time saw, and he thankfully dragged both me and the moped out.

I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Italy.

Worst travel moment: Getting influenza B in Malaysia while cooking a four-night event for Hennessey XO…having a fever of 102ºF when it’s 100ºF out and 100% humidity. Worst week of my life.

What’s your dream destination? Galapagos or Indonesia.

Favorite travel charity: I was unaware such a thing exists.

Best travel tip: Go with a fairly empty suitcase. And don’t be afraid to engage the locals.

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