I thought I’d seen it all in Pattaya, and you know this if you read about Walking Street.
After years of reluctantly visiting the adult fun capital of Thailand (I have good friends that live nearby with their families), I’ve seen some crazy stuff.
But there is one place I was introduced to in Pattaya today that was super fun – like a visual orgasm, especially if you’re an “antiquer,” a hoarder, or just into crazy nostalgic nick nacks.
What is the Suriya Music Center?
Called the Suriya Music Center, this establishment is located far out on Sukhumvit Road In South Pattaya, past the tourist trap (and fake) floating market. My buddy took me by there because he was trying to describe it to me but fell far short, and for good reason. The first thing I saw when we pulled up in the parking lot was an old WWI bi-plane painted brightly red, which you could climb into the cockpit and take photos. The massive building complex was even more memorable from the outside, as it was adorned by two gigantic guitars standing upright, each one probably 50 feet tall!
We first got a bite to eat at the adjoining café that sat across the street and enjoyed its mismatch paint color explosion, a wall of old-school transistors, radios, clock radios, and stereos, and LP collection, including the Beatles’ Help and Michael Jackson’s Beat It on wax. After a decent meal of Thai food and ice coffees as big as the guitars outside, we headed into the actual storefront- which is the real attraction.
About as big as a warehouse, the Suriya center contains just about every piece of memorabilia, art, culture, piece of history, and some just truly bizarre finds. It was a blast to just walk around the place for about an hour, like the largest Salvation Army or thrift store in the world, but with an international Asian flare.
I’ll try to describe just a few of the highlights, as there were literally tens of thousands of items for sale. Some of my favorite were the full samurai armor suit and samurai swords they had on display. There were also tons of different toys and superhero icons, including a lot of 8-foot tall Transformer, Voltron, and Power Rangers models. Of course, there was a Terminator statue and a 20-foot tall mechanical monster. There were plenty of old school bikes, some of which had to be barely 100 years old, and stereos and radio players just as old. In fact, they had a huge music section with century-old organs and pianos from every decade and a titanic wall filled with about 500 hanging guitars from every era. Of course, they had movie posters, beer signs from all around the world, a whole section dedicate d to Coca-Cola memorabilia. There were also thousands of model cars and automobile toys, and real antique motorcycles, with an enclave just for Harley. Add in a bunch of neon signs from around the world, odd Japanese cultural icons, weird t-shirts, and a strangely diverse variety of Japanese mechanical massage seats called “Rodeo Boys.” And all of that is probably just 1/10th of what they had on display!
If you’re into the weird and wild, this is a place for you!