The most efficient way to get around the island of Don Khone (and the neighbouring island of Don Det) is by bicycle. Cycling is more of an imperative when you choose to stay in the remotest part of Don Khone, in the village of Ban Hang Khone. To get to relative civilisation requires a trek (it is a trek in the 30c+ heat) of 6km to Ban Kon Tai at the top of the island. While this village is the ‘big smoke’ on the island, it is still only a collection of eateries and guesthouses straddling a dusty lane that runs parallel to one of the river channels around the island.
We quickly decided that cycling was the best transport option and hired four bikes for the princely sum of $1.70 each per day. Rather than walk the dusty trails on the islands we were able to cycle them. This did not mean that you were any less dusty when finishing the ride than if you had walked them. Tip: when you finish each ride simply walk into the shower fully clothed with footwear on. By the time you peel everything off you and your clothes are (sort of) clean.
There was no paper work involved with the hire. Simply roll up and select the bike with the most appropriate seat height (if you are lucky). The bikes are all the same and all the same price. No record is taken of who you are, no passport numbers are taken or even the name of your guest house or the length of hire. I guess they worked on the basis that we were not going to try to ride them off the island and if we left them somewhere they will eventually find their way to the owner.