I wanted to share my amazing experience with others so I wrote up a story and sent it to the editors of the Arizona Republic and within a month it was published. I have a feeling the 4000 islands aren't as secluded as they were in 2005, most likely there is electricity and Internet now, but I bet you can still find a hammock to relax in and a room for $10 instead of a buck. A few days ago my mom found an original print of the article and scanned it. Its difficult to read so I've typed it up.
Laid-back Laos: A hut, a hammock, a sunset
The most charming aspect of Don Dhet is the locals’ trust of their guests. During your stay, you write your meals and drinks in a notebook, and the total is added up at departure. My total was $24 for a week.
The island offers a wide range of activities; two of the most popular are napping and reading in your hammock. All the local sights are best reached on foot or by bicycle.
Tat Somphamit, a set of raging rapids on Don Khon, is a beautiful place to see local fisherman wading for their next big catch. The islands have many hiking trails. Kayaking and tubing are great ways to explore neighboring islands. A short boat ride off the coast of Don Khon provides a chance to see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins.
Peaceful sunsets are enjoyed on communal balconies along the Sunset Strip coast. Nights are spent traveling with flashlights to neighboring guesthouses in search of food, drink and company. Or you can lie in your hammock and enjoy the bright stars in the clear skies.
It’s a common saying in Laos that the farther south you go, the more relaxed it gets. You can’t get any more southern than the 4,000 islands.