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Go away with ... Chin Han

Go away with ... Chin Han

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One of Singapore’s most famous actors, Chin Han has also found success in Hollywood. Currently based out of Los Angeles, the acting veteran’s movie credits include “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” “The Dark Knight” and “Ghost in the Shell.” He also portrays Shang Tsung in the new “Mortal Kombat” film. “He’s a powerful sorcerer from Outworld, bent on conquering Earthrealm,” Han said from L.A. “He is a shapeshifter, who consumes souls to stay immortal. But most enviable is his ability to create portals for interdimensional travel — anything to get by lines at customs and long TSA checks.” Fans may stay in touch with him via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where his username is @thechinhan.

Q: Where did you film "Mortal Kombat"?

A: Australia, mainly in Adelaide and then Sydney. One unforgettable location was Leigh Creek, a massive, abandoned coal mine in eastern central South Australia. We had to fly in on small propeller planes to this otherworldly place that had ground fissures shooting out flames we had to avoid. And that was our Outworld.

Q: A lot of us had to cancel trips due to the pandemic. Did you have any trips lined up that you had to postpone?

A: I had planned to visit Tadanobu Asano, who plays Lord Raiden in “Mortal Kombat,” in Japan to catch the cherry blossom festival. But it was not to be.

Q: Thinking about some of your trips when you could safely travel, which one was a favorite?

A: I always enjoy London. Coming from the theater, I love seeing shows on the West End and taking in the sights and the smells — yes, that old, weathered smell of 200-year-old theaters. Museums are also a good time for me, so I would recommend the Tate Modern or the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Q: What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?

A: To pack light. And that it’s OK not to have a full itinerary and to be intentionally lost once in a while.

Q: If you could only pick one place to eat, would you choose a casual meal at a street cart or fine dining at a nice restaurant?

A: Growing up in Singapore, I fondly remember the seasonal street-side popup stores selling durian. Now fair warning — the thorny fruit is an acquired taste. But if you love it, there’s nothing quite like sitting on a stool by the road eating it and watching the world go by.

Q: Durian is a polarizing fruit for some people. What else would you recommend for people to try in Singapore?

A: The chili crab is a must. Also, since Singapore is at the crossroads of many South and Southeast Asian countries, there are specialties like laksa, (which is) a Chinese-Malay influenced rice noodle and coconut curry soup dish, curry fish head with its South Indian origins and Kaya toast, a regional coconut egg jam on bread to try. If you're adventurous with food, it's a fun place to be.

Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A: I like driving up the California coastline to the wineries in Santa Barbara on long weekends. It’s incredibly scenic and the mild temperatures means you’re able to do it most of the year.

Q: What would be your dream trip?

A: At the moment, the Amalfi Coast and Capri.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?

A: I eat ice cream, help strangers take family photos and don’t ever work out the entire duration of the vacation.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at You may also follow “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)

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