Stand Up Paddleboarding in Luang Prabang

SUP is an acronym that stands for “standup paddleboarding” and it is taking the water sports world by storm. While it is difficult to measure the level of participation in outdoor sports, kayaking has long been considered the fastest growing water sport of the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s also safe to say that paddling kayaks has gone from the fastest growing to the most popular. Well, it looks like the sport of kayaking will have to relinquish at least one of those titles.

Standup paddleboarding is quickly becoming the water sport of choice and while SUP might not be the most popular (yet) it certainly is the fastest growing.


Standup paddle boarding has its roots where all board sports have their beginnings, in Hawaii. Known as Hoe he’e nalu, standup paddle surfing actually has ancient roots but became popular in modern times among surf instructors and photographers trying to get a higher vantage point than the surface of the water.

Basically, SUP uses a surf style board and a long paddle. In that regard, it is a cross between canoeing and surfing. While originally made popular by surfer Laird Hamilton as he used the paddle to help him catch the towing waves found in Hawaii, SUP is not only for surfing any longer. Standup paddling can be done in a variety of forms such as on flat water protected lakes to easy beach paddling, to open water paddling and all the way to surfing waves.


While you can just go to a shop and buy the first or cheapest SUP they have, that isn’t necessarily the most effective way to get started in the sport. SUP boards and SUP paddles range in price, design, and materials. Obviously, the better quality SUP gear is also going to cost more money.

However, the better made gear is often designed for intermediate and experienced paddlers.

At “Château Orientale“, we make sure to take slowly if you are beginners and to teach you all of the necessary methods and stances needed to have fun. You might not feel comfortable the first time you attempt it, but after a bit of practice and guidance from our expert tour guides; you will be ready to enjoy a relaxing and fun time up the Namkhan River.

Learning Time
Views along the Namkhan River
100% Fun!


In some places in the world, they don’t use the word “boarding” at all and replace it with “surfing.” Or they remove “boarding” and add an “ing” to the word paddle, yielding “paddling.” They then have some form of “standup paddling” or “standup paddle surfing.”

At any rate, if you see the word SUP or any of the above combinations, you know we’re talking about this relatively new sport that is taking our waterways by storm. In the end, it’s not how you say it but rather that you do it that counts.

Get out there and paddle board!


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Dear friends and partners,

As you are aware, the rate of Covid-19 infection remains low in Laos and the lockdown has been lifted last Monday, allowing most businesses to resume their normal activities.

Feel safe and secure at Chateau Orientale

We have used this lockdown period to step up precautionary measures throughout our policies and procedures and to implement a comprehensive staff training to make sure that our guests and team members can continue to feel safe and secure at Chateau Orientale. 

Our new working practices are based on WHO’s recommendations, as well as government policies, in particular directives 142 and 143 of May 3rd, 2020.