From some of the country’s least attractive architecture to a certain Russian tennis pro’s dilemma in the name of candy, this week there’s been plenty of quirky developments in the world of travel.

Without further ado, here’s our round up of some of the most striking stories to surface from the last seven days.


Where do UK students go after their A-levels? A new ABTA study that surfaced this week says Thailand is the most popular holiday hotspot for students to flock to on their gap year (or yah) – before embarking on a stint down under to Australia. But despite being extensively visited, Thailand’s anglified neighbour also happens to be the priciest place to study abroad in costing up to $38,000 a year in total tuition fees and living costs. In the words of our Aussie mates, that’s some ‘big bickies’.

backpackers in thailand - via flickr by Exile on James Street

Tattoo Taboo?

What on Earth did an American globe trotter have inked on his back? William Passman from Louisiana made waves throughout the travelsphere this week when he unveiled his latest souvenir – a map of the world complete with coloured in countries marking his travels. Although the 59-year-old has only had a passport for the past seven years, he’s already ticked off more than 70 countries. It definitely gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘backpacker’.

borneo tattoo artist flickr by Arup ≈ অরূপ

Sharapova is One Sugar-Lova

Ahead of the US Open kicking off in New York next week, believe it or not, tennis balls aren’t the only ones that Russian sports sensation Maria Sharapova’s juggling these days. She also has a new line of gum balls out on the market too known as Sugarpova. In fact, she’s so proud of her sweet new range that this week she even ‘seriously considered’ changing her last name to Sugarpova – to promote her brand for the two-week span of the tournament.

sugarpova sweets via arnold inuyaki

Construction Catastrophes: The Bad, The Worse and The Ugly

Following last week’s round up of the ugliest UK towns, this week, Building Design Magazine has released their list of Britain’s worst building blunders. Some of the offending structures include the likes of a water sports centre in Wales’s Colwyn Bay, student housing in Oxford and a block of flats in east London. One of the top picks includes North Yorkshire’s Redcar Beacon which cost an estimated £1.6 million to complete. The winning offender will be crowned at the end of the month with the signature Carbuncle Cup, which is an annual award that recognises the most extreme eyesores of modern day engineering.

redcar beacon via flickr by cass39

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Do you agree with the building blunder nominations? Leave us a comment below, and let us know!

Images: Jared Wong, Exile on James StreetArup ≈ অরূপarnold | inuyaki, cass39 via Flickr.