I had the exact opposite experience with Sinbi (I'm the Michelle Kevin referred to). I think Sylvie is dead on about the expectations and NOT paying in advance. I had already travelled and trained in a more relaxed manner on Koh Lanta with my fiancé for 2 weeks. My final trip to Sinbi was meant to be my intense training, as I had a fight scheduled 2 weeks after my return to Canada. The training there would in no way have prepped me. There was no sparring, clinching only sometimes, and the pad holders were all really disinterested. Sinbi himself was not there when I trained (out of the country) and I have heard from a few people that the atmosphere is very different when he is present, and that the trainers act very differently when he's around also. Maybe that's why my experience was so bad? And it wasn't just the fact that the fight prep wasn't there, to me it felt like a muay thai factory. I trained at 3 other gyms in Thailand and none of them were organized like Sinbi. It was very similar to what you would find in a North American (or Canadian at least) gym, with the structured class and drills. Again, not what I was looking for. When I trained with Sylvie in Pattaya I was pushed past the point of exhaustion every single day, and was able to work on specific skills I needed to improve. I trained, slept, trained, slept, trained. Never made it to the beach in Pattaya, I've heard they're nice! And even though half the people at the small gyms in Pattaya didn't speak English I had more interactions there than I did with any of the 50 people who were at Sinbi daily.