Children of the revolution
If you don’t know a lot about modern Asian history, and think Singapore is all about British colonialism, the excellent Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is sure to enlighten you.
Dr Sun Yat Sen was the key revolutionary figure in overthrowing feudal China and is regarded as the founding father of the modern People’s Republic of China. Dr Sun spent time in Singapore working for the revolutionary cause, based in the villa in which the museum is housed. The museum documents the impact of the Chinese Revolution on Singapore as well as Singapore’s contribution to the revolution.
The beautifully restored two-storey, colonial-style villa in the Balestier district was completed by a local Chinese merchant in the early 1900s. If you have an interest in architecture, the grand heritage building is worth the trip alone. After passing several owners, rubber magnate Teo Eng Hock offered the home to Dr Sun as the Singapore hub of his revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia.
The excellently displayed and informative exhibition, filled with interactive panels and multimedia displays includes photos, personal items and revolutionary propaganda. A re-creation of Dr Sun’s study is brought to life with holograms. Take your time to explore other interesting galleries highlighting the establishment of modern education, media and economic development in Singapore and the Malay Peninsula.
Although not in the middle of the tourist hub, we recommend a visit to learn about Singapore’s much overlooked role in the life of a legendary Chinese revolutionary. Give yourself a good hour and a half to look around or time your trip to include the free guided tour, which is held Tuesday to Friday at 14:00, and weekends at 15:00 (the museum is closed Mondays).
After visiting the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, take a stroll in the pretty gardens of Zhongshan Park (Zhongshan is the Mandarin translation of Yat Sen), opposite the museum, featuring Chinese architecture and landscaping, including two magnificent old Banyan trees.
Or pop in next door to the Burmese Buddhist Temple where you can see the largest white marble Buddha statue outside Burma. Some excellent local restaurants and hawker centres are nearby, too.
Address: 12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore
T: 6256 7377; F: 6256 7677;
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º50'48.51" E, 1º19'39.99" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: S$4 adults, free children under 12, $2 students and senior citizens. Singaporeans/PRs free.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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