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Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to discuss the destinations open to Americans now and to learn more about coronavirus travel safety, new Covid-19 hotel policies and future trip-planning advice, inspiration and other ideas.Sheets to tangle up in, dishes to indulge in and a spa worth going horizontal for no longer suffice. These days, I look for hotels like one I found recently in northern Laos that open otherwise inaccessible doors, literal and figurative, onto the most compelling natural and cultural surroundings. Among the authentic pleasures at the new Rosewood Luang Prabang with its 22 Bill Bensley-designed tents and villas straddling a waterfall on the outskirts of town, is an early morning excursion to a humble nearby hamlet. Typically, visitors to Luang Prabang, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995, rise with the sun at least once to participate in Tak Bat, a longstanding Lao Buddhist tradition of "making merit" by doling out rice to the monks for their morning meal. Most head for Luang Prabang’s main stretch, known as Sisavangvong Road, and aim their iPhones at this now well-documented procession.Bypassing that crowd, Rosewood guests are the only foreigners at Phanom village’s Tak Bat ceremony, where I joined gossiping local grannies to make merit by handing out sticky rice and fresh fruit from handwoven rattan baskets to the 30 or so saffron-clad monks and novices as they circumambulate Phanom’s gilded temple chanting Buddhist scriptures. Insightful commentary comes from the hotel’s guest experience manager Sommaiy, a former monk who also leads treks to remote forest temples, where revered abbots still practice the esoteric art of Sak Yant Buddhist tattoos.
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