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TRAVEL LOG

Summer hotspots

The American Automobile Association, predicting this summer's vacation binge, says a survey of its travel managers indicates that the most popular U.S. destinations will be Orlando; Branson, Mo., a country music capital; Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park; Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles/Anaheim area. The American Society of Travel Agents, surveying its members, sees Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean as the prime international destinations.

Dutch Treat

The annual Kutztown Folk Festival provides a chance to experience life in Kutztown, Pa., as it might have been in the 19th century. About 200 craftspeople demonstrate farm and home handicrafts, and there will be puppet shows, seminars on Amish folkways, and plenty of food, music, dancing and quilts. The dates are June 26-July 5; admission is $8 for adults, $4 for kids under 12. For information, call (800) 447-9269. A free map and visitor's guide to Lancaster County has information on special hotel packages, B&Bs and campgrounds, tours, farm and antique markets. To order, call (800) 735-2629, ext. 2201.

Some special trips

"Rembrandt in a New Light" has recently opened at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. On view through the end of October are recently restored "late" period paintings _ all part of a Golden Age of Amsterdam celebration, with special exhibits, concerts, walks and canal cruises, through next March 6. For more information and a calendar of events, call the Netherlands Board of Tourism, (212) 370-7367.

Game for a nonhunting safari? The Friends of the National Zoo's 12-day "Kenya Explorer" goes in search of elephant, rhino and lion, from the forests of the Aberdares to the magnificent Masai Mara, Nov. 5-16. Cost is $2,345 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes lodging in deluxe tented camps or safari clubs, air fare from New York and most meals. This is a fund-raiser for Washington's National Zoo.

Another of the trips is the 17-day "Wildlife Tour to China and Hong Kong," Sept. 28-Oct. 14. See the Giant Panda Research Center and Breeding Station in Wolong Nature Reserve and the rare brown panda at the Xian Zoo (Shaanxi Province), search for blue-faced and rare white monkeys, and tour the Petrified Forest and the Li River. Cost is $4,195 per person, including air fare from Washington, flights within China and most meals. For information on either trip, call (202) 673-4961. _ Compiled from special, wire reports

DOLLAR's WORTH

Travelers can get a firm estimate of expenses around the world by checking the U.S. government's per diem, or daily, allowances for federal employees sent to work away from home. Here are a selection of current per diems; sometimes the figure is stated for a city, sometimes for an entire nation. HOTEL is the daily cost at a mid-range hotel; MEALS is the cost for three meals and incidental expenses, such as dry cleaning or transportation.

AREA HOTEL MEALS TOTAL

AMSTERDAM $116 $76 $192

ATHENS 111 59 170

BANGKOK 110 53 163

BARCELONA 159 89 248

BEIJING 87 56 143

BERLIN 163 80 243

BERMUDA 143 85 228

CANCUN 129 67 196

CAYMANS 95 53 148

COSTA RICA 111 57 168

HAVANA 110 70 180

HONG KONG 154 89 243

JAMAICA 110 56 166

LIMA 76 48 124

LISBON 187 80 267

LONDON 134 81 215

AREA HOTEL MEALS TOTAL

MEXICO CITY 120 43 163

MONTREAL 96 65 161

MOSCOW 195 75 270

NASSAU 140 87 227

PARIS 135 95 230

PRAGUE 174 56 230

RIO 75 40 115

ROME 133 77 210

STOCKHOLM 111 88 199

SYDNEY 104 69 173

TEL AVIV 132 88 220

TOKYO 214 99 313

TORONTO 82 53 135

VENICE 111 66 177

VIENNA 100 65 165

WARSAW 114 50 164

ZURICH 126 78 204

Source: U.S. State Department

The currencies are shown in terms of what $1 U.S. would buy as of June 9, 1993, and with the exchange rates of a year ago. Rates are comparable abroad but may be more favorable for large transactions.

Country/Currency Now 1992

Brazil/Cruzeiro 32,258.06 2,314.81

Britain/Pound 0.63 0.52

Canada/Dollar 1.23 1.14

France/Franc 5.17 5.06

Germany/Mark 1.54 1.51

Greece/Drachma 203.17 176.67

Country/Currency Now 1992

Italy/Lire 1,396.65 1,136.36

Japan/Yen 100.62 120.74

Mexico/Peso 2.82 2,832.86

Spain/Peseta 117.21 94.43

Switzerland/Franc 1.38 1.37

Source: Thomas Cook Foreign Exchange, Orlando, (407) 351-4334.

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