This little shophouse tucked away in 120 Armenian Street is a reminder of a time when Malaya had close links to mainland China thanks to its large Chinese diaspora. This was once Sun Yat-sen's house in Penang, a base from which he and his comrades devised many plans to create a new future for the country he loved.
The museum is small but cosy, humble but sincere - it presents in a straightforward manner Sun Yat-sen the man and his beliefs, and his party the Tongmenghui (the Chinese United League). The walls of the ground floor of the shophouse are filled with storyboards and you have all the time in the world to go through them. If modern Chinese history is not your thing at least spend some time to take in the beautiful architecture of the shophouse, wonderfully restored yet retaining all of the old world charm and ambience.
What really impressed my girlfriend and me and left an impression on us were the museum's two caretakers, Alvin and Kenny. Alvin was near the entrance when we came in (if I did not mix up the pair's names) and he immediately invited us in warmly and sincerely. It was obvious Mandarin was his first language and not English, yet he introduced the museum to us in good English and made a very good effort to make us feel welcome. It felt as if he was inviting us into his home and his warmth and hospitality were 100 per cent. Later, Kenny struck up a conversation with us at the back of the shophouse and upon hearing that we were interested in Penang's history, he immediately gave us many anecdotes about Penang's history. If Alvin and Kenny are still in charge of the museum today the museum will be in very, very safe hands!
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