I've noted a few things on my 3 trips over there and I would like to share them.
They aren't in any order of importance and others might have different observations.
Use taxi's with meters and make sure the meter is turned on. An unmetered taxi, for example, on a short trip, will often charge 200 baht, when a metered taxi will only charge 70 baht (in your money, use 33 baht to the US $, 100 baht is around $3, it's near enough and easier to work out).
3 Star hotels are good but will nearly always have 2nd rate Internet. In Thailand, 4/5 star is worth the extra, I found this out the hard way, as I do !
Be careful, the water is crook, Thai Tummy is no fun, in fact it gives you the shits, trust me. Most street vendors use unknown water. Love the food, hate the resultant effect.
Research, research, research.
Proven Doctors to TS's are a known quantity, and usually give the quality. Use them.
Taxi drivers might look stupid and not have much English. Trust them, they don't get it wrong often. If you think they're good and/or know English, get a business card( they all have them) and phone them on other times that you need a cab, they're often priceless and will go out of their way for the business.
If you go for an appointment, get the companies business card. Next time if the cabbie can't find the place, he will ring it up and get directions. Get Hotel staff to write addresses, including their own, down on a piece of paper, or give you a card.
It's a tropical climate. DRINK LOTS OF WATER. If you've got a headache or are tired early evening, you are probably dehydrated, DRINK WATER. LOTS OF IT.
Drink bottled water ONLY. Also, 10 baht bottled water ' tastes'. Spend 20 baht, it is worth it!
2-3 litres EVERY day is a minumim over there. Hotels supply 2 bottles a day, grab more. Do NOT drink tap water, even in 5 star. You'd think this is one thing they'd do right in quality hotels, unfortunately, they often don't.
For some reason, a lot of Hotels, including the wonderful, 5 star Somerset Suites, where I stayed, don't have radios.You can tune into skyfm on your computer.You can buy a pair compact speakers for around $6 at one of the electronic stores.
Put your phone on International Roaming but be prepared for a big phone bill. Any calls you receive from overseas, YOU pay for. Buy a phone there.Go to the big shopping malls. I paid around $40 plus a prepaid card. This phone is INVALUABLE for local calls to Doctor's or your patient coordinator.
Take a friend if you can. I'm as independant as anyone you'll ever meet but it gets real hard, especially after surgery, to deal with the locals lack of English. Fair Dinkum, it wears you out and leaves you exhausted. It is minimal cost to your friend. The room is already paid for, maybe a little extra for 2 people, so all they need is air flight and spending. They will be worth it and so will the company.
Take power plug converters. Your 2 point plug is flat, Thai's are round points, 6 are recommended.
Take a bagful or two of the little candies in a wrapper. The hospital staff love them, especially the red and white ones.
15/ Set up for wifi, some Hotels/ Hospitals will have cable, wifi gives you independence.
16/ Take a line of string so you can hang your washing out, many don't launder knickers.
17/ Allow for 15% tax in your budget for Hotel rooms, room service etc. It catches you out this one. You budget for a $100 a night room and 15% tax, puts another $75 a week on top.
All I can think of for the moment.
Hope there are some useful tips here.
Love to all,