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The Sun Yat Sen Museum

The Sun Yat Sen Museum (formerly the Sun Yat Sen Penang Base), 120 Armenian Street, Penang
A historic gem in the heart of  the George Town world heritage site

A Link To World History

The Historic Cities of the Straits Malacca – George Town and Melaka – have been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its architectural heritage and townscape, cultural diversity and multilayered history, its living heritage communities and intangible heritage. Immerse yourself in our shared past. Discover how this important house pre-eminently connects global and local history.
A permanent exhibition and guided tour offer a window onto the extraordinary history of the house. In 1910 Sun Yat Sen (1866–1925) moved the Southeast Asian headquarters of the Tongmenghui party to Penang because he found renewed support among the Overseas Chinese here for the overthrow of China’s Qing dynasty. In the same year, when Sun Yat Sen lived in Penang with his family for over four months, the house at 120 Armenian Street was where:
• The Penang Philomatic Union – a reading club – was based, providing a cover for the Sun’s political party.
• The world’s oldest Chinese newspaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh was founded by Sun Yat Sen in 1910.
• Sun Yat Sen convened the celebrated Penang Conference and delivered his famous speech to plan the Huanghuagang Uprising, an important milestone leading to the 1911 Chinese revolution.

A Nanyang Architectural Gem

Built around 1880 as a residential townhouse, the building is a very fine example of a Straits Settlements merchant’s home. Unusually long at over 130 feet (40 metres) it retains many of its original features – an intimate courtyard garden, a handsome timber staircase, geometric floor tiles, and large beams spanning lime plaster walls. The interior displays original blackwood Straits Chinese furniture and ornately carved wooden screens. The old-fashioned Nyonya kitchen preserves the original firewood stove and kitchen utensils.
From 1926 the house was owned by a Hokkien merchant, Ch’ng Teong Swee. His granddaughter, the writer and heritage advocate, Khoo Salma Nasution, is custodian of the house today. In 2010–11 the house underwent extensive renovation to its façade and roof, drawing on the time-honoured skills of craftsmen from Quanzhou, southern China.


  • First Sun Yat Sen museum in Malaysia, launched in 2001 by the Malaysian Prime Minister.
  • First Sun Yat Sen museum in southeast Asia officially visited by President Hu Jintao, followed by many other important China officials.
  • Filming location of the award-winning Chinese film Road To Dawn (2007), starring Winston Zhao and based on Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary period in Penang.
  • Site of 2010 Reunion of 29 Sun clan members, descended from Sun Yat Sen and his brother Sun Mei.
  • Starting point of the Penang Heritage Trust Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail.

Peter Carey AUTHOR
‘extraordinarily beautiful’
‘You really have done a fine job remembering the time when Sun Yat-sen was in Penang… It was an historic turning point for his adventurous political life’
M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra GOVERNOR OF BANGKOK
‘beautiful house, great history’
Tan Twan Eng AUTHOR
‘evocative and impressive!’

Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail

The Sun Yat Sen Museum at 120 Armenian Street is the starting point of Southeast Asia’s first Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail developed by Penang Heritage Trust in 2010, linking over a dozen heritage sites associated with Sun Yat Sen and his followers. Guided tour can be arranged.

Venue Hire

If you are looking for an unusual setting for your seminar or meeting, the Sun Yat Sen Museum provides a unique venue for evening gatherings and book launches.

Book Corner

While visiting the Sun Yat Sen Museum, enrich your knowledge by browsing a display of books published by Areca Books, a niche publisher specialising in cultural heritage, social history, visual arts and the environment.

A House In History

The Sun Yat Sen Museum, Penang, is a beautifully-preserved house museum in the heart of the George Town World Heritage Site. This historical house has a permanent exhibition on Sun Yat Sen’s early revolutionary period in Penang when he planned a historic uprising in the China Revolution of 1911.

Open Daily from 09.00 am—5.00 pm
Admission RM5 | Discounts for students and children

Includes a guided tour in English or Mandarin

For Information & Group Booking Contact

LOCATION: The Sun Yat Sen Museum, Penang, faces an inner city park along the charming Armenian Street, two minutes' walk from the renowned Khoo Kongsi, in a multicultural enclave of mosques and courtyard temples rich with living heritage and history.