A Christmas gift for Nokia fans: The N86 across Asia!

Here’s one final souvenir from last month’s trip around the world — three once-in-a-lifetime photo opps as seen through the mighty lens of Nokia’s N86

Nokia fanboy money shot.
Wat Pho, Bangkok
Another Nokia N86 money shot: Taipei 101
Taipei 101, Taipei
Shibuya Crossing, as seen on my N86
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

As you can see via the reflection in the pic directly above, all three photos were captured with an N79 — a fine camera phone in its own right…

Thanks once again to Tom and WOM World for entrusting me with an N86. And to my loyal readers, first-time visitors, even comment spammers, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday close to the people you care about. For yours truly, some exciting things are afoot in 2010… Stay tuned!

#ACRTW – A grand farewell to Taipei at The Grand Hotel.

[qik url=”http://qik.com/video/3690464″%5D

Here’s a little video I did live from The Grand Hotel — a hugely impressive property but man, I’m glad I didn’t stay there…

Grand Hotel at Dusk

The Grand’s big drawback is its location — it’s a $100 TWD cab ride from the nearest MRT station, whereas the place I stayed at is right beside a stop further south and much closer to downtown Taipei.

Grand Hotel Lobby

The Grand’s massive lobby. The secret tunnels lie beneath, I think…

Though reports on TripAdvisor tell of shoddy run-down rooms the place looked like it was in pretty good shape to me. It would be a good choice for travellers not planning to actually leave the hotel — conference-goers, honeymooners, that kind of thing.

Grand Hotel at Night

You could probably catch some pretty cool views of the city from the higher floors, but as a non-guest it didn’t seem to me like I was allowed up there…

Posted via web from Andrew Currie on Posterous

#ACRTW – The serious business of eating dumplings in Taiwan.

Mr. and Mrs. Sandy Chen Sr. at Din Tai Fung

Here’s David and Carol (Sandy Chen‘s Mom and Dad) outside the world-famous dumpling restaurant DinTaiFung. As you can see from their expression, folks in Taiwan take their dumplings very seriously.

Oh, ignore the mascot…

DinTaiFung Guide for Laowai

Further proof: As soon as I sat down with Mr. & Mrs. Chen the server handed me this Laowai guide to Taiwanese soup dumplings. Little did they know I live just down the street from a soup dumpling shop back home

Taro Dumplings -- oh sweet jeebus...

The soup dumplings were indeed delicious, but by far my favourite dish was the taro dumplings we had for dessert.

You have no idea how sweet ass-crap -delicious this is...

The caption for this photo on Flickr: “You have no idea how sweet ass-crap-delicious this is…”

Posted via web from Andrew Currie on Posterous

#ACRTW – Taipei’s Modern Toilet Restaurant. For serious.

Table for one...

Okay, seriously… How can you not want to eat at a restaurant chain who’s tagline is “Shit or Food”?

Modern Toilet Entrance

Though Modern Toilet is a Taiwan-wide chain with multiple locations in Taipei alone, I chose to eat in the trendy Ximending shopping district. It proved quite challenging to find, and took a combination of Google Maps, the GPS on my N86 and an ad from a tourist map I brought with me from my hotel to arrive at this spot.

Modern Toilet Chicken Curry

Though I was early for dinner I wasn’t early enough to beat the after-school crowd, and was sat at a large glass-covered bathtub with some non-English-speaking locals. I didn’t let that stop me from ordering up a big black toilet-full of chicken curry.

Okay, the toilet wasn’t actually to scale…

Modern Toiilet Ice Cream Dessert

My meal also came with dessert, served up in a mini squat toilet. Can’t say it was as good as the curry, though… It looked like ice cream but I couldn’t really taste any dairy in it.

At the counter where you settle up you can also buy some souvenirs, like an oversized plush coil of poop with stitched-in plastic flies.

I can certainly recommend Modern Toilet as a unique dining experience. About the only complaint I had about my visit there was that I couldn’t use the actual washroom, as it was being cleaned at the time. Gross!

Posted via web from Andrew Currie on Posterous

#ACRTW – A tour of Taipei 101.

Living in a city with a fairly tall tower myself I of course had to pay a visit to the famous Taipei 101

Taipei 101 by Day

The architects who designed this monolith cleverly stuck a mall in front of it that you’re forced to walk through to get to the tower. Evil!

Facing Northwest from the 89th Floor

Facing northwest from the 89th-floor gallery. That building with the yellow roof is the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. The large domed structure behind it is the Taipei Arena, and just a bit further down the street is my hotel. Can you see it?

The Very Top of Taipei 101

Two floors up on the 91st is an outdoor observation deck — surprisingly calm until you realize there are guards keeping people from the windward side.

Artsy Shot

But there was this odd whistling sound that you can hear above.

Another Nokia N86 money shot: Taipei 101

You can thank my N86 on loan from Nokia for the awesome pics. More on that in a future post…

Posted via web from Andrew Currie on Posterous