A long overdue post that I should have written months ago. But alas, my crazy schedule got the best of me. And since I still intend to post about my solo walking tour of Penang while my husband was at a conference there, please bear with me on this little throwback. 😉
Sun Yat Sen is a name almost all of us have heard before. Usually from the history classes we had during primary school. A medical practitioner turned frequently exiled revolutionary then finally became the Founding Father of the Republic of China. He lived from 1866 to 1925 and was a key figure in overthrowing the last of China’s monarchs from the Qing dynasty particularly during the Xinhai revolution in 1911. This guy led a very interesting life and is actually one of my favourite Asian History characters.
But I won’t bore you by waxing poetic about his adventures. I just want to share with you this place I chanced upon in one of Penang’s most famous streets – Lebuh Armenian – which is not only filled with quirky shops, temples, and cafes but is actually the location of a house that opened its doors for Sun Yat Sen and his party (Tongmenghui).
In the early 1900s, Sun Yat Sen travelled all over the world, gathering support for his revolution in China and he got it, obviously. One of his stops was Penang where a lot of Chinese people resided. After his first visit in 1905, he saw that it was a great place to promote his ideology and he then came back every year to invite more and more people into supporting his cause.
A house in Penang, which was the place where Sun Yat Sen launched the Kwong Wah Jit Poh newspaper and made one of his famous speeches that got him loads of financial support for his revolution, is now open to the public as a museum.
During my visit in Penang, I intended to visit the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Centre but it was rather far from Georgetown City Centre where I was doing my walking tour. When I checked one of my maps, I found that there was a museum dedicated to Sun Yat Sen just right there in the famous Armenian Street. Just my luck! So I went there instead and to be honest, I’m glad I did.
The Sun Yat Sen Museum was actually a residential townhouse built in 1880 but its owner during the ’20s, a merchant called Ching Teong Swee, opened it for Sun Yat Sen and his supporters – secretly, of course. 😉
Here are some photos from the inside:
I really loved my visit here and I learned a lot more about Sun Yat Sen – way beyond from what I learned in my textbooks. The guides are very welcoming, enthusiastic to share their knowledge, and would even urge you take photos and check out important pieces more throughly. It’s definitely a must visit if ever you’re in Penang so you can learn more about this island’s rich and multi-faceted history. 😀
The Sun Yat Sen Museum is located at:
120 Armenian Street, George Town World Heritage Site, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
MYR5 for adults (Php60.10, EUR1.25, USD1.36)
MYR3 for studentes (Php36.06, EUR0.75, USD0.81)
A guide and refreshments after. Ask for the lemongrass drink. 😉