Ed Sheeran Stays Atop Hot 100, Clean Bandit Bounds to Top 10


Sheeran’s “Shape of You” rules for a seventh week, Rihanna adds her 22nd top five hit, Clean Bandit surges 24-9 with “Rockabye” & The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” ties the record for the most weeks totaled in the top 10.

Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape of You” spends a seventh week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (dated March 25), as parent LP ÷ (Divide)storms in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Also in an action-packed Hot 100 top 10: Rihanna‘s “Love on the Brain” reaches the top five, becoming her 22nd top five hit; Clean Bandit blasts from No. 24 to No. 9 with “Rockabye,” featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie; and The Chainsmokers‘  “Closer” (featuring Halsey) ties the record for the most weeks totaled in the top 10 in the Hot 100’s 58-year history.

As we do every Monday, let’s run down top 10 of the Hot 100, which blends sales, airplay and streaming data. All charts will update on Billboard.com tomorrow, March 14.

As it tops the Hot 100 for a seventh week, Sheeran’s “Shape,” released on Atlantic Records, also logs a seventh week at No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart (116,000 downloads sold in the week ending March 9, according to Nielsen Music), as well as a fifth week at No. 1 on Radio Songs (160 million in audience, up 3 percent, in the week ending March 12). It additionally takes over at No. 1 on the Streaming Songs chart, up 28 percent to 50.8 million U.S. streams in the week ending March 9. It tops the audio subscription services-based On-Demand Streaming Songs survey for a third week (24.5 million on-demand clicks, up 34 percent).

Impressively, “Shape” leads all three of the Hot 100’s main component charts — Digital Song Sales, Radio Songs and Streaming Songs  — becoming the first song to top all the lists simultaneously since “Closer” (Nov. 12, 2016).

As previously reported, Sheeran’s third studio album, ÷ (Divide), launches at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 451,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 9, the largest week for an album in 2017. Sheeran is the first artist to top the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 simultaneously since Drake on July 30, with “One Dance” (featuring WizKid and Kyla) and Views, respectively.

Ed Sheeran


Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’ Bows at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart With 2017’s Biggest Debut

Meanwhile, 10 songs from ÷ debut on the Hot 100: “Perfect” (No. 37), “Dive” (No. 49), “Galway Girl” (No. 53), “Happier” (No. 59), “New Man” (No. 72), “Supermarket Flowers” (No. 75), “What Do I Know?” (No. 83), “Eraser” (No. 90), “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here” (No. 93) and “Barcelona” (No. 96). They join “Shape,” the No. 6-peaking “Castle on the Hill” (which roars 75-39) and the No. 41-reaching “How Would You Feel (Paean)” (a re-entry at No. 84), making for 13 of the 16 songs on the deluxe version of the album that have hit the Hot 100; all 12 tracks on the standard version of the album have now reached the Hot 100.

The record for most debuts by an act in a week? 13, by Justin Bieber on Dec. 5, 2015, the week that his album Purpose bowed atop the Billboard 200. And, in a chart quirk, Sheeran owns all 10 of the Hot 100’s debuts this week; that’s the highest amount of new entries all by one act, with no other debuts by anyone else, in a single week in the Hot 100’s history.

Beyond all (impressive) things Ed Sheeran, Migos‘ “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, keeps at No. 2 on the Hot 100 following three nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1. The cut drops to No. 2 on Streaming Songs after 10 weeks on top (42.7 million, down 3 percent). Still, “Bad” leads Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts for a 10th week each.

Bruno Mars‘ “That’s What I Like” hits a new peak on the Hot 100, rising 4-3 and besting the No. 4 peak of prior single “24K Magic,” the title track from Mars’ latest album. Following the first full tracking week after the official video for “Like” arrived March 1, the track lifts 3-2 on Digital Song Sales, up 25 percent to 95,000 sold, and enters the top 10 on Radio Songs (12-7; 75 million, up 14 percent) and Streaming Songs (11-7; 19.4 million, up 12 percent). On the Hot R&B Songs chart, “Like” collects a fourth week at No. 1.

Zayn and Taylor Swift‘s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” drops 3-4 on the Hot 100 after hitting No. 2, while Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” bumps 6-5 on the Hot 100, hitting a new peak. The song is Rihanna’s 22nd top five hit, breaking her out of a fifth-place tie with Elvis Presley (who tallied 21 top fives after the Hot 100’s 1958 inception; his career predates the Hot 100, as he first hit Billboard charts in 1956). The only artists with more top five Hot 100 hits than Rihanna: The Beatles (29), Madonna (28), Mariah Carey (26) and Janet Jackson (24). Airplay continues to drive the ballad most heavily, as it keeps at No. 3 on Radio Songs (107 million, essentially even week-over-week).

Kodak Black’s first Hot 100 top 10, “Tunnel Vision,” hits a new high (8-6), while bulleting for a second week at No. 3 on Streaming Songs (33.3 million, up 9 percent); The Chainsmokers‘ “Paris” holds at No. 7 on the Hot 100 after reaching No. 6, while returning for a second week at No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and hitting the Radio Songs top 10 (11-9; 67 million, up 1 percent); and Big Sean‘s “Bounce Back” lives up to its title, ascending 9-8 on the Hot 100 after climbing to No. 6.

Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye” rockets 24-9 on the Hot 100 (after previously reaching No. 21), sparked by its 17-3 vault on Digital Song Sales (68,000, up 97 percent), boosted by 69-cent sale-pricing in the iTunes Store. It also pushes 23-19 on Radio Songs (50 million, up 7 percent) and bullets at No. 34 (down from No. 32) on Streaming Songs (12.7 million, up 6 percent). The track — which incorporates the lyrics to nursery rhyme “Rock-a-bye Baby,” which dates back more than two-and-a-half centuries, to 1765, specifically — is Clean Bandit’s second Hot 100 top 10, surpassing the No. 10 peak of “Rather Be” (featuring Jess Glynne) in 2014.

While Anne-Marie achieves her first Hot 100 top 10 (in her first visit to the chart) with “Rockabye,” fellow featured act Paul scores his 10th top 10. Notably, he notched his first eight in 2002-2010; he’s collected his latest two in the last nine months, spending four weeks at No. 1 as featured on Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” in August, prior to “Rockabye.”

“We care about the artist’s career as a whole and not just about the records — that’s the foundation upon which Disruptor was built,“ says Alpert, photographed March 1 at Disruptor Records in New York.


The Chainsmokers’ Manager Adam Alpert Talks Release Strategy & Evolution From DJ Duo to Arena Act

Rounding out the Hot 100’s top 10, The Chainsmokers’ “Closer,” which spent 12 weeks at No. 1, adds a historic honor, tying the record for the most weeks logged in the top 10: 32 (all from its debut at No. 9 on Aug. 20, 2016). The track equals the top 10 run of LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live”: 32 top 10 weeks in 1997-98.

Plus, The Chainsmokers have now spent 45 consecutive weeks in the Hot 100’s top 10, dating to May 21, 2016 (and encompassing four top 10s). The duo ties The Weeknd for the fifth-longest top 10 streak all-time and is within three weeks of matching Ace of Base’s mark for a duo or group. Here’s an update among all acts:

69 weeks in the Hot 100’s top 10, Katy Perry, 2010-11
51 weeks, Drake, 2015-16
48 weeks, Ace of Base, 1993-94
46 weeks, Rihanna, 2010-11
45 weeks, The Chainsmokers, 2016-17
45 weeks, The Weeknd, 2015

Lorde performs on Saturday Night Live on March 11, 2017. 


Watch Lorde Bring ‘Green Light’ and ‘Liability’ to the ‘Saturday Night Live’ Stage

Just beyond the Hot 100’s top 10, the chart’s largest leap belongs to Lorde’s “Green Light,” which soars from No. 100 to No. 19 after its first full week of tracking (following its March 2 release). The lead single from Lorde’s second full-length, Melodrama (due June 16), debuts on Digital Song Sales at No. 6 (52,000) and Streaming Songs at No. 20 (13.6 million), while adding 20 million in radio airplay audience.

Find out more Hot 100 news in the weekly “Hot 100 Chart Moves” column later this week, and visit Billboard.com tomorrow (March 14), when all charts, including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh.


Source: Billboard


12 of the world’s cheapest holiday destinations for 2016

From steamy salsa lessons in South America, to booze and baked goods in the Balkans; whether you’re looking for a quick sun fix, or you want to explore somewhere a tad more exotic than your usual beach hut in Brighton (a perfectly respectable alternative) we’ve scoured the globe for the cheapest holiday choices for 2016.

There’s a lot to consider when budgeting for a holiday, and while cheap flights and accommodation are important, so are all those hidden in-resort costs – no-one wants to have to sell an organ just to finance sundowners in that swanky rooftop bar. So, while getting to these budget destinations might cost a few bob, once you’re there these countries offer great value

1. Cambodia

With beds for £1 and lip-smacking food for less than that, Cambodia is so cheap you can feel guilty for paying so little. Where once travellers often feared to tread, Cambodia is now very much on the Southeast Asia travel scene, particularly among backpackers and, increasingly, holidaymakers looking for five-star luxury without the price tag. Check out the De La Paix hotel – their rich wood interiors, in-room iPod docks and free WiFi access for about £250 (double room) a night is about as far from a grimey hostel as it’s possible to get, and not painfully priced for the topnotch service they provide. It’s also ten minutes down the road from the world famous Angkor Wat Archaeological Park. You can’t leave Cambodia without visiting this iconic ancient site, preferrably at dawn to watch the sun rise behind Angkor Wat temple itself, a soothing and spectacular experience. Entry to this UNESCO world heritage site costs just £13 for a full day, although it’s worth paying the £26 for three days – there are just too many temples to squeeze into one day and once the midday sun hits you’ll want to take shade, or find some seriously strong air-conditioning.

Read more:

7 best things to do in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Sunrise at Angkor Wat near Siem Reap in Cambodia

2. Vietnam

Unspoiled and undeveloped, despite its rise in popularity in the last few years, Vietnam is still super cheap, as well as a beautiful country. You can easily get by on £5 a day, including a guest house, local food, transport and a bit of drinking – a pint of Vietnam’s most popular brew, Bia Hoi, costs as little as 50p. Hanoi, the former headquarters of French Indochina and then the administrative centre of communist North Vietnam, was declared the country’s official captial in 1976 after reunification of this deeply divided nation began. It retains much of it’s French flavour; you’ll find some great patisseries producing croissants that rival Paris’s finest right next door to an authentic _pho _noodle soup shack. Hanoi’s Old Quarter, around Hoan Kiem Lake, is the best place to soak up some of the city’s post-colonial charm – it’s also a rare oasis of calm in this otherwise chaotic city, where locals go every morning at sunrise to practice tai chi. Experience Vietnamese rural life and see for yourself the lush, green rice terraces in and around the former French moutnain resort of Da Lat in the central highlands. The city is somewhat overrun with tourists (it’s the main departure point for a lot of ‘Easy Rider’ motorcycle tours) but the flower farms, local tofu factories, cashew nut plantations, and of course the iconic rice terraces are worth stopping by to take a look, before speeding on along the coast southwards to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon.

Read more:

7 best places to visit in Vietnam

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi in Vietnam

3. India

A spending spree in Mumbai‘s designer shops and a stay in an international hotel in Delhi is going to cost you as much as it would in Dubai, but away from these enclaves the cost of living is ridiculously low. Even if you travel first class on the trains (the Rajdhani or the Shatabdi Express are the most comfortable to travel on, being fully air-conditioned with meals included in the ticket price) and take taxis everywhere, you’ll be hard pressed to spend a lot of money here and it’s possible to live like a raj on just £15 (about 1,500 rupees) a day. India is the seventh largest country in the world, so unless you’re planning an incredible six month sojourn, it pays to plan which of the country’s 29 states you want to visit. Head to western India to Rajasthan for an assault of the senses in the state capital, the Pink City, Jaipur, or kick back on the white sands of Kerala in southern India. You can’t fly all that way without seeing what may well be the most famous tomb in the world, the Taj Mahal, in Agra, northern India – just don’t go on a Friday, it’s closed. And don’t worry about Delhi belly, you’ll find some of India’s best street food here in the capital, particularly in the narrow streets and bustling boulevards around Connaught Place in the centre of town. Pick your stall wisely – make sure they look clean and if they’re busy it usually means the food is fresh, but it’s still a good idea to pack the Immodium, just in case.

Read more:

5 unforgettable things to do in India

The Taj Mahal in India

4. Bolivia

Known as the Tibet of the Americas, Bolivia is a relatively remote bolthole, being one of only two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Paraguay). Wander along Calle Jaén, in Bolivia’s administrative capital, La Paz, for a slice of South American life under Spanish colonial control – the street is home to some of the city’s best preserved colonial buildings, whitewashed façades and ornate black grilled balconettes. It’s also where you’ll find a cluster of museums, including the former home of Pedro Domingo Murillo, who lead forces during the La Paz Revolution of 1809. See them all for the grand total of 40p and pick up your bumper bargain ticket from the Museo Costumbrista, which houses a ceramic depicting the hanging of the aforementioned revolutionary. As if that weren’t enough (there’s more to life than museums?!) Bolivia perhaps boasts the best value food and drink in all of South America. For example, a bottle of Paceña beer generally costs less than £1 and a bowl of chairo (potato soup) about the same. Pack plenty of layers for when the sun goes down; although Bolivia generally endures hot and humid tropical summers, La Paz is surrounded by the altipano mountains and so stays cool all year round. Looking to turn up the heat? Head to Oruro, a city in the heart of the altiplano famous for its Carnival, held each year in February or March to honour the Virgin of Candelaria. Three hours by bus from La Paz and you could be taking part in this UNESCO protected presentation of indigenous and religious Bolivian culture, with more than 48 folk dance performances and a traditional parade.

Read more:

10 amazing places you won’t believe exist on Earth

The rooftops of Bolivian capital city La Paz

5. Hungary

Budapest, the historic Hungarian capital on the Danube, is a definite must-see on anyone’s European tour. While it’s not quite as cheap as it was before the budget airlines got there, prices here will leave plenty of cash in your pocket. Indulge in luscious cakes, get refreshed on strong liquor and sweat it out in the famous thermal spas. Stop for a sweet treat at Gerbeaud’s for gourmet pastries too pretty to eat (almost), or visit a traditional kávéház (coffee house) for a calorific (who’s counting?!) slice of _kürtőskalács _or chocolate chimney cake. With meals for £2, train tickets for £1 and rooms for £10, Budapest is a beautiful bargain. And you can visit those beautiful bathhouses, such as Gellert, for £10, with massages starting at less than a tenner. If you’re after a quiet countryside retreat, check out Lake Balaton in Transdanubia, western Hungary. The biggest lake in central Europe, it’s a popular summer retreat for local families looking to escape the big smoke during the summer heat – it’s an easy one and a half hour train ride from Budapest and the biggest resorts are found in the cities of Siófok and Balatonfüred. Take a hike in the northern hills, swim in the lake or sail out on the cool waters, before enjoying some locally produced wines from the vineyards dotted across nearby Badacsony Hill.

Read more:

6 best baths in Budapest

Top 7 things to do in Budapest on a budget

One of Budapest's many bathhouses

6. Honduras

There’s Belize. There’s Costa Rica. There’s even Guatemala. But for real bargain-basement Central American value, plump for Honduras. The country isn’t up there on the most-visited lists, but if you do decide to give it a go you’ll discover white sand beaches reminiscent of the Maldives, diving to rival the Red Sea, and mega cheap food and drink – all while spending less than £20 a day. For the Caribbean at a fraction of the cost, check out the swathes of pristine beaches along Honduras’s northern coast. One of the busiest centres along this idyllic stretch is Puerto Cortes, a bustling port famous for its trade in bananas with strong Spanish heritage, signs of which survive to this day – get out to Omoa, a picture-postcard seaside town with a colonial fortress to explore. If you’re really serious about sniffing out the prettiest post-colonial towns, look no further than the quaint Spanish houses, ornate cathedral and packed plazas in Comayagua’s historic town centre. A small city two hours drive northwest from Honduras’s capital, Tegucigalpa, Comayagua was once the country’s religious and political centre, but today its main draws are the colonial buildings and cute plaza cafés – bag a traditional Honduran baguette or bistek (steak) sandwich from café La Casa de Sandwich for about £1.50 and picnic in the nearby Parque Central.

The cathedral in Comayagua, Honduras

7. Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have undergone a bit of a boom with British visitors in recent years, probably because they offer a total bargain compared with traditional summer sun destinations like the south of Spain. If you prefer city breaking to beaches, capital Sofia offers hearty food, warm company, ‘robust’ drink and a comfy bed, all yours for £20 a day. Just a 20-minute subway ride from the airport terminal (30-40 minutes if you’re travelling in by bus) you can satisfy your inner culture vulture in Sofia – the second oldest city in Europe is stuffed with museums and galleries, including the Musuem of Socialist Art and the National Literature Musuem. Soak up some summer sun and do a few laps down at Liulin Beach, with its three outdoor swimming pools, a sand area and a footie field – there’s even a canteen to grab a slice of pizza post-exercise. Despite becoming a burgeoning holiday destination, many places outside of Sofia remain relatively untouched by bargain-hungry holidaymakers and the further east you go, the cheaper it gets. Want sun, sea and to save a few pennies? Head for Nesebar, a UNESCO World Heritage site a few hours south of Varna and a great spot to start your budget tour of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. Although much of Nesebar’s ancient city of Messembria has collapsed into the ocean, there are still plenty of old churches to admire and cobbled lanes to stroll along – buy locally produced lace to take back as a souvenir, just watch out for cheap tourist tat versions.

Read more:

8 great places to visit in the Balkans

Nesebur on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria

8. Sri Lanka

‘With gossamer-fine sands, cloud-wrapped mountains, waterfalls, tea plantations and palm trees wafting in the breeze, Sri Lanka is the picture perfect paradise’… Ok, thanks tourist brochure. We’ll concentrate on feasting on fish curry, trekking in the jungle and staying in hotels on the beach for tuppence. Well, not quite two pence, but you can live like royalty for under £25 a day. Modern tourism began to boom on this idyllic south Indian Ocean island in the 1960s, but it’s somehow managed to stay on the sidelines of many a Southeast Asian itinerary, so it’s still possible to pick up a low-cost luxury bargain. Stay at the five-star Cinnamon Lodge, located in Habarana, the epicentre of a cultural triangle encompassing Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. The swish suites here boast fantastic views over the tropical Habarana Lake – take it all in from your own private jacuzzi, while being served champagne by your on-call butler – or you can bag a single room, with all the same spa, swimming pool and dining facilities, from as little as £42 a night. If you can bear to drag yourself away from air-conditioned luxury, the temples, monasteries and stupa speckled throughout the surrounding countryside offer a window into Sri Lanka’s Buddhist culture – 70% of Sri Lankans are Buddhist. If you don’t fancy days on end temple traipsing, stick to the highlights: the Sri Maha Bodhiya (Bodhi Tree Temple) in Anuradhapura and the Sri Dhalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) in Kandy, arguably the most sacred places on the entire island. Be warned, foreigners tend to pay higher entrance fees, although some tuk-tuk drivers might offer to sneak you in for free!

Read more:

7 best things to do in Southwest Sri Lanka

An elephant on the waterfront in Sri Lanka

9. Argentina

From the jungles of the central plains in La Pampa, to the rugged Andes mountains on the western border with Chile, there’s plenty to see and do in Argentina, the world’s eighth largest country. City lights don’t get much brighter in this part of the world than in Buenos Aires, which has rightly earned its reputation as one of the most exciting cities on the planet, thanks partly to its totally up-for-it nightlife. Experience the colourful, flamboyant life of the Argentinian capital by staying away from its most exclusive hotspots and you can easily get by on £25 a day. Tour the bright and bold murals that adorn many of Buenos Aires’s buildings, and come sundown slink along the streets of San Telmo and enjoy the cool bohemian vibe in the restaurants and bars in this part of town – much more fun (and kinder on the wallet) than a night out in the tourist traps of the city’s Recoleta district. If you want to get away from it all and see some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, then it doesn’t get much more impressive than a trip to Patagonia in southern Argentina, home to Tierra del Fuego, the most southerly city in the world and a popular departure point for excursions to the Antartic. Get there by bus from Buenos Aires – a journey which takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours – or hop on a cheap internal flight to save time, although this is usually a more expensive way to travel. Prepare yourself for plenty of cute penguins, dolphins and whales in the UNESCO protected nature reserve, Península Valdés; the entrance fee for non-residents is about a tenner.

Read more:

Top 9 things to do in Buenos Aires

Tierra del Fuego National Park in Argentina

10. Greece

Due to the country’s ongoing economic difficulties, the cost of holidaying in Greece is lower than it used to be. While it’s still pretty pricey to stay on famous Greek islands like Santorini or Mykonos, pick a quieter Greek getaway like Paros or Skiathos and you can still while away the days in 28 degree heat, sipping ice-cold Mythos (between about £1.50 and £4 a pint depending on where you stay) for half the price. If you’re all about pool parties and super-cheap shots, then Ios is the island for you, famous for its all-night raves and young backpacker crowd. Not got time for a full-on island-hop? Settle for a day trip to the Sardonic Gulf island of Hydra, just one and a half hours by catamaran from Athens and the spot for some of the best souvlaki(kebabs) you’ll find anywhere else in the Aegean Sea – Pirofani restaurant has been dishing up this delicious drunk food for over 20 years and takes some beating when it comes to flavour and value for money. Not enough meat to satisfy your inner caveman? Sail across to Kefalonia (which you might recognise from the big screen adaption of the famous book, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) for a slab of traditional pie, filled with oozing meats and gravy, wrapped in a blanket of filo pastry. Ferries run regularly between the islands, but if departing from Athens head to the port of Piraeus to check the boards for updated prices and schedules – most of the Aegean Islands take about four or five hours to reach by high-speed ferry, six to eight on a regular one.

Read more:

A guide to 20 beautiful Greek islands

10 pound-stretching reasons to visit Greece

8 top things to do in Athens

The Greek island of Kefalonia

11. Dominican Republic

The Caribbean is pricey, right? Not if you fly to the Dominican Republic, where £30 a day will cover accommodation, travel and food if you’re thrifty. Eat where the locals do and you’ll find dishes – and beers – for under £1, while taking the local bus into town can be done for less than 50p. Check in to the Bavaro Hosteland for just £13 you’ll get a bed within a three-minute walk of the white sands and swaying palms of Bavaro beach. Plus free wifi and free coffee. If free coffee isn’t enough and you want all-day dining and activities, the Dominican Republic offers some incredible deals for all-inclusive holidays. The VH Gran Ventana on the appropriately named Playa Dorada (Golden Beach) has four different restaurants, from gourmet Caribbean to casual beachfront grill, three swimming pools and watersports from water skiing and parasailing to banana boats and scuba diving – all included. With rates starting at just £90 per room per night you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth!

Read more:

10 best things to do in the Dominican Republic

A white sand beach in the Dominican Republic

12. Ireland

Flight prices to Ireland have tumbled over the past few years, meaning you can get to Dublin for less than you might think. Once in the Irish capital, stay at the central Generator Hostel and you could pay just £6 for your bed. Free things to do in the Irish capital include visiting the Chester Beatty Library, to check out its world-famous and dazzlingly expansive collection of rare books and manuscripts, and talking a walk with the deer herd in Phoenix Park – this is the largest enclosed recreational space in any European capital so there’s plenty to explore. Do some budget shopping at the weekend Blackrock Market, Dublin’s oldest, and sup on the central city’s (rumoured) cheapest pint, just £2.30 in the Pavilion Bar at the cricket pitch in Trinity College. If you’d rather get out into rural Ireland, head to Galway, where prices are lower than the capital across the board and a weekend break could cost you about 20% less. You could spend some of those savings on the city’s vibrant nightlife (thanks student population!) with a trawl through the city’s pubs – where Guinness is around 15% cheaper than in Dublin – and the live music sessions at trad music pub An Pucan are free.

Read more:

Ireland’s best music bars and gig venues

11 of the best bars in Dublin

The River Liffey in the Irish capital Dublin

Source: Skyscanner.net

This Insane South Korean Zombie Horror Is Taking The Asian Box Office By Storm

It’s safe to say 2016 has been a brutal year for horror fans — in the best way possible. While this summer has seen its fair share of Hollywood flop fests, movies like The Shallows and The Conjuring 2 have exceeded expectations to reign supreme at the box office. And it looks like this blood-soaked horror train isn’t ready to slow down just yet, thanks to one movie causing all kinds of havoc at the Asian box office.

Directed by Yeon Sang-Ho and starring Yoo Gong, Train to Busan takes place on — you guessed it — a high-speed bullet train heading from the South Korean capital of Seoul to the southern city of Busan.

It is set one day after Sang-Ho’s previous animated movie Seoul Station, which primarily dealt with the first phase of the zombie outbreak, eventually leading into the events of Train. What happens next is a desperate fight to survive — and these zombies aren’t the bumbling, brain-dead ghouls of classic Romero. These guys take their cues fromWorld War Z and 28 Days Later; their terror is in their speed, agility and desperate need for human flesh.

More Than Just Zombies on a Train

The movie first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and earned some pretty impressive reviews for a bloody zombie horror. Many noted the movie’s not-so-subtle social and political commentary about corporate greed and selfishness as one of the reasons it was rated so highly.

This is especially poignant after S. Korea faced a national tragedy in 2014, when 300 teenagers drowned after a ferry overturned in the sea. Investigators discovered that the ferry had been overloaded by its corporate owners to save money, while the captain and crew escaped to safety. Initially the media reported that everyone survived the disaster, because the government told them to. This dark moment in Korea’s recent history heavily influenced the movie’s plot, and inserted depth into the done-to-death zombie genre.


The Biggest South Korean Movie Ever Made?

Next Entertainment World

Train to Busan was released internationally in July and has spent the summer infecting movie theatres in China, Hong Kong and South Korea. Since its release, the movie has shattered expectations. So far, Train to Busan has:

  • Made $34 million in its first five days of release
  • Grossed $80 million (so far)
  • Is the highest grossing Korean film ever in Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • Has been seen by one fifth of the S. Korean population
  • Has earned a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 8/10 in IMDB


Not bad for a movie with an estimated $182,000 budget! $80 million might not seem like a huge taking when it comes to Hollywood blockbusters. To put this in perspective, the year’s biggest horror (so far),The Conjuring 2, made $319 million, and the most successful foreign language movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Taiwan) made $128 million. $80 million is huge for a Korean-made, Korean-set and Korean-acted movie.

Next Entertainment World

Train to Busan was released in the US in selected theatres, but thanks to the movie’s success overseas, there is a small chance it may get a second, wider release. As for a sequel? Well if they can drag Resident Evilout for six movies, I’m sure Train has a little more milage ahead of it.


How To Find Rare And Legendary Monsters In Pokemon GO [Infographic]

Pokemon GO fever might have died down a little, but it still remains the world’s most popular and profitable mobile gaming app by a significant margin. If you’re still trying to collect ’em all, this infographic provides some handy hunting tips for the rarest pocket monsters of the bunch.

The infographic below comes from the gambling website CasinoShortlist but don’t hold that against it. The tips it contains are actually pretty handy, from base capture rates to tried-and-tested ball throwing tips. It also names the region-specific pokemon that you can basically stop looking for — unless you’re planning a trip abroad. Check out the tips and info below:


Pokémon Go’s Buddy System Will Let You Have Special Time With Your Favorite Monster

While it has been rumored for a while now thanks to data miners, Niantic finally acknowledged an upcoming feature that will let you have more one-on-one time with Pokémon.

Here’s Niantic, explaining how it’ll generally work:

The next addition to Pokémon GO will be Buddy Pokémon. You will be able to pick your favorite Pokémon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences. Buddy Pokémon will appear alongside your Trainer avatar on your profile screen, adding helpful bonuses such as awarding Candy for walking together. You’ll also have the ability to change your Buddy Pokémon at any time.

There’s no specific ETA detailed by Niantic, but they say it’s “just around the corner.”

There’s no word on a wider release for the improved tracking system, but hey, at least this Buddy System sounds pretty cool. Reminds me of Soul Silver and Heart Gold, which is a great thing!



First look inside Dubai’s $1bn indoor theme park

Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge is a fantastic 400-metre spinning rollercoaster that propels visitors through a New York skylineSpider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge is a fantastic 400-metre spinning rollercoaster that propels visitors through a New York skyline CREDIT: GLEN PEARSON

new US$1 billion (£758m) indoor amusement park in Dubaiwill boast a Marvel Comics-themed zone; a first-of-its-kind 3D ride featuring 18 IMAX projectors; and a hair-raising Haunted Hotel where visitors must be aged 15 and over.There is an age restriction at the park's Haunted HotelThere is an age restriction at the park’s Haunted Hotel CREDIT: GLEN PEARSON

At first glance, the dusty surroundings of IMG Worlds of Adventure  – exterior landscaping is still to be finished and the road leading to the park was only laid last week – cast doubt on the August 31 opening date.The giant attraction is the first of four major theme parks to open in the emirate this yearThe giant attraction is the first of four major theme parks to open in the emirate this year

But step inside the temperature-controlled hangar and you’ll discover an impressive family funhouse. Spread over an area equivalent to 28 football fields, the park is split into four themed zones with prehistoric jungle trails and a labyrinth of city streets.

The Marvel zone is the star attraction, with rides featuring iconic characters such as Thor and Captain America, and Tony’s Skydeck, a fine-dining seafood and steak restaurant based on Iron Man’s alter ego Tony Stark.

 Highlights of the zone include Hulk Epsilon, an 100-seater ride that takes you on a spin with the angry green man in a 3D environment, and Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge, a fantastic 400-metre spinning rollercoaster that propels visitors through a New York skyline with Marvel’s famous web-slinger.
The Cartoon Network zone has family-friendly attractions based around popular characters including LazyTown, The Powerpuff Girls and The Amazing World of Gumball. It also contains the world’s first Ben 10 5D cinema, which will host up to 1,200 visitors an hour with an exclusive 10-minute movie.
There are child-friendly attractions in the Cartoon Network zoneThere are child-friendly attractions in the Cartoon Network zone CREDIT: GLEN PEARSON
The Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure zone features one of the park’s flagship attractions, The Velociraptor, which shoots riders out of the park and into the desert at 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds. The area also boasts 70 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that took Japanese firm Kokoro five years to create, with incredible attention to detail such as hand-sculptured scales going in to every one.
There are 70 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that took Japanese firm Kokoro five years to createThere are 70 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that took Japanese firm Kokoro five years to create CREDIT: GLEN PEARSON

Lastly, IMG Boulevard is a largely dining and retail area with the genuinely terrifying Haunted Hotel. The walk-through attraction is a maze of corridors and creepy characters. A blood-drenched butcher surrounded by hanging corpses is especially gruesome, hence the age restriction.

Food is another standout feature. Lennard Otto, chief executive of IMG Worlds of Adventure, says the park has invested heavily in its food and beverage offering. “We wanted to kill the typical notion of overpriced, bad food that is unfortunately the norm in theme parks around the world. So we’ve created 28 unique concepts, including some linked to the characters, offering more than 13 different types of cuisine,” he says.

There are 28 dining venuesThere are 28 dining venues CREDIT: GLEN PEARSON


As much effort has gone into managing that great British obsession: queuing.

“We will use a heat mapping system within the park to monitor where people are and then send entertainment teams out to move people around if we feel they’re congregating too much in one location,” says Otto.

Waiting times for rides will be displayed on digital screens throughout the park and visitors can download an app that will pinpoint their location using GPS and direct to them to rides with shorter queues.

IMG Worlds of Adventure opens on August 31IMG Worlds of Adventure opens on August 31 CREDIT: GLEN PEARSON

According the Otto, the UAE has the potential to become “Orlando 2.0”. IMG Worlds of Adventures is the first of four major theme parks to open in the emirate this year. Hot on its heels is Dubai Parks & Resorts, an integrated resort made up of three parks including Legoland Dubai, due to open on October 31.

30,000 visitors are expected per day30,000 visitors are expected per day CREDIT: GLEN PEARSON

“Within the next five years, we will have the same amount of large-scale theme parks [as Orlando] and there will be eight parks in the UAE by 2019,” Otto says.

“The infrastructure here in Dubai is far superior to that of Orlando. Dubai has more hotel rooms than Orlando, a bigger food and beverage industry and Dubai’s airport has twice the number of passengers than Orlando’s.”

IMG Worlds of Adventure is located 20 minutes from each of Dubai’s international airports. Tickets cost AED 300 for adults (£62) and AED 250 (£52) for children and can be purchased online at www.imgworlds.com.

IMG Worlds of Adventure in numbers

US$1 billion build cost

1.5 million square feet in size

12 columns supporting the 41-metre dome

4 zones within the park

28 food and beverage outlets

25 merchandise stores

1,500 employees from 59 countries

29 different languages spoken by the staff

30,000 visitors expected per day

4.5 million visitors predicted in its first year of operation


Source: The Telegraph

Google’s Next Big Android Update Is Launching Today

Some phones will get Android Nougat starting on Monday

Google is bringing its new version of Android to certain Nexus devices starting Monday, the company just announced.BizTech Illos Android

Developers have been able to use an early version of the software since March. But over the coming weeks, the final iteration of Android 7.0 Nougat will be making its way to the Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 9, Nexus Player,Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G, which is part of Google’s Android One program. Any device enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also get the update, while LG’s V20 will be the first phone to come with the software out of the box when it debuts later this year.

Android 7.0 Nougat brings several upgrades to Google’s mobile software, including 72 new emoji characters, the ability to open more than one app at the same time in separate windows, and support for Google’s mobile virtual reality platform, called Daydream, among other additions. Google says there are 250 new features in total.

Google doesn’t typically allow developers to access the beta version of its new Android software so far ahead of its release. This year, however, the company gave app makers a longer lead time so they could optimize their software for the new platform closer to its official launch.

Because Android is open source and available across a wide range of products made by different manufacturers, the wait for a new software update can sometimes take months depending on which phone you own. When Google releases a new version of Android, it must be approved, and, in some cases, modified by handset manufacturers and carriers before it arrives on your phone. This is why updates don’t reach all Android devices at the same time, as Apple’s iOS updates typically do for iPhones. The fact that Google has granted earlier access than usual to its beta program this year suggests it’s trying to expedite the rollout process moving forward.


Source: Time.com