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Random Notes from China

Accommodations: We pre-booked all of the transportation, transfers and hotels before we left. I just didn’t want the stress of having to figure out train or bus schedules or go from hotel to hotel looking for a room, like we did in our younger days. Especially not with two teenagers in tow. The hotels have all been 3 or 4-stars,…

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Toilets in China: On cleanliness and filth

Note added in December 2019: I wrote the following article years ago in Hancheng, China, and I see now how terribly judgemental I was about toilets in China. I’ve added some tips and comments to update it a bit. My message now is: be aware of how you communicate and behave around the issue of Chinese toilets. We are judging…

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The Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland, Sweden

Some UNESCO sites aren’t famous works of architecture like Himeji Castle in Japan or the 16th century canal ring of Amsterdam, for example, or ancient historical monuments like Petra in Jordan or Baalbek in Lebanon. Some are more modest, less showy, and exemplify local culture and crafts. The Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland, Sweden, are a great example of this kind…

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Instagram links!

Thank you for popping over to Rachel’s Ruminations from Instagram! Below are the most recent topics I’ve posted about. You can find articles about lots of different places, plus some excellent travel advice, by going to my home page and looking around! Big Buddha in Hong Kong (and a cable car ride!) 11+ best things to do in Martinique Read…

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North Beach neighborhood guide: A local’s favorite things to do

North Beach in a sentence: strange history, charm and some of the best Italian food in San Francisco. The following article is a guest post by Kara Harms of Whimsy Soul. Disclosure: This North Beach neighborhood guide contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This will not affect…

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MOCA New York City (Museum of Chinese in America)

With so much focus on #BlackLivesMatter, it can be illuminating to look at other ethnic groups in the US. I visited MOCA New York City last year, and it’s high time I published my review. I used to teach an American Studies overview course here in the Netherlands. Every year I made sure to point out to my students that…

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29 things to do in Drenthe province

If you’re not from around here, you’ve probably never heard of Drenthe, a province in the east of the Netherlands. When I decided to make a list of things to do in Drenthe, I was surprised at how many there are. Some are a bit odd or obscure, but those are the places I like best! I’ve been to some…

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The Willet-Holthuysen Museum: An elegant Golden Age house in Amsterdam

This entry is part 23 of 25 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Many tourists visiting Amsterdam come to see the beautiful buildings in the old center. The UNESCO site – officially called “the Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht” – is lined with elegant “Golden Age” houses. It’s very picturesque and very Instagrammable. You can see a few of them on the inside: one of those houses is the…

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Walking across the Manhattan Bridge & the Brooklyn Bridge

A classic and very popular thing to do in New York City is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Did you know, though, that you can also walk across the Manhattan Bridge? When I was in New York recently, intent on keeping to a tight budget, I checked my own post about budget things to do in New York City,…