Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Weather :

Timings : Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Last admission: 4:30 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Singaporeans and PRs: No Entry Fee,
Foreigners:
Adults: SGD 6,
Seniors, Children (6 - 12 years): SGD 4,
Family package (upto 3 children): SGD 18

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Singapore Overview

The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a two-storey museum located in Balestier, Singapore. The museum is dedicated to the life of the popular Chinese leader Sun Yat Sen, who is often considered the founding father of the Republic of China. Also known as Wan Qing Yuan, it is a national monument situated within the well-maintained villa that used to serve as the headquarters of Sun Yat Sen's Chinese Revolutionary Alliance, and it was here that he planned three uprisings.

With its rich history and numerous exhibits, it is no wonder that this beautiful Peranakan style Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a must-visit for all history buffs. Even those who are not drawn towards history can visit the villa for its lovely, sprawling gardens. There are over 400 artefacts in the Permanent Gallery of the museum. These include works of calligraphy, old paintings, sculptures, books and photographs; spread over five galleries in two levels. Almost all of these are dedicated to the incredible life of Dr Sun Yat Sen. The museum also has various displays about the Chinese community in Singapore, and how they helped Dr Sun Yat Sen in his endeavours.

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Highlights of Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

The Memorial Hall has several fascinating exhibits which chronicle the life of Dr Sun Yat Sen as well as the life of the Chinese immigrants in Singapore. Some of these important artefacts and exhibits include:
  • A 60m long and 2m tall bronze wall mural which illustrates Singapore's history from the 1840s to the 1940s. It includes scenes showing Singapore as a fishing village as well as scenes from the gruesome Sook Ching massacre in 1942.
  • The magnificently done oil and watercolour paintings by award-winning Singaporean and Chinese artists adorn the galleries on the second level. The works of Ong Kim Seng, Tan Swie Hian and Liu Kang can be seen here. There is also a work of stunning Chinese calligraphy on display which was presented to Dr Sun Yat Sen by an associate.
  • The museum houses a rare seal which belonged to Tan Chor Lam and engraved with the Chinese characters 'jie ai guo yuan', which means love for country and fellow countrymen.
  • The lush green and well-maintained gardens surrounding the museum have numerous bronze statues of people who helped Dr Sun Yat Sen during the Xinhai Revolution. It also has a beautiful 1m tall bronze statue of Dr Sun Yat Sen himself, which was gifted by the Chinese government in 1937.
  • There is a rare photograph of Dr Sun Yat Sen with the members of the Tongmenghui's Singapore branch which was taken at the Wan Qing Yuan.
  • The Memorial Hall displays a collection of the various emblems and pins of the Chinese community.
  • The Chinese newspaper publishers have a part of the museum dedicated to them as they played a significant part in the revolution. This section displays printing presses which have been preserved in a superb state.

Guided Tours

The Memorial Hall offers regular free guided tours of its permanent galleries and special exhibitions. The tour guides belong to Friends of the Museums (Singapore), Mandarin Docent group and Museum Volunteers group. The tours last for around 60 minutes and include a maximum of 15 members per group, served on a first come, first serve basis.

English Guided Tours of Permanent Galleries
Tuesday to Friday- 02:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday- 03:00 PM

Mandarin Guided Tours of Permanent Galleries 
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 02:30 PM

English Guided Tours of Special Exhibitions
Friday- 10:30 AM
Saturday- 01:30 PM

Mandarin Guided Tours of Special Exhibitions
Saturday from 10:30 AM

How to Reach Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Bus: Visitors should use bus service nos. 21, 130, 131, 139, 139M, 145, 186 and alight at Zhongshan Mall. They can also bus service nos. 139, 139M and alight at East Asia Institute of Management.

MRT:
The Memorial Hall is a 20 minute walk from two stations, Toa Payoh Station (NS19) and Novena Station (NS20). From the Toa Payoh Station, visitors can also take bus service nos. 139, 145 from Toa Payoh Bus Interchange and alight at Zhongshan Park. From Novena Station, visitors can take bus service nos. 21, 131 from Novena Church and alight at Zhongshan Park.

Car
: Tourists using the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), from Changi Airport towards Tuas, should take Exit 17 (Balestier Road/Thomson Road/Upper Thomson Road) onto Jalan Datoh. Then they should turn left at Balestier Road, then turn left at Ah Hood Road.  Tourists using the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), from Tuas towards Changi Airport, should take Exit 17D (Thomson Road/Toa Payoh) onto Jalan Toa Payoh. They should turn right to stay on Thomson Road and then turn left to Balestier Road, with another left at Ah Hood Road. The Memorial Hall does not provide parking spaces. Visitors can park at Zhongshan Mall, HomeTeamNS-JOM Clubhouse, or at the Ah Hood Gardens housing estate.

Historical Significance

There are very few places that have a past as rich as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. Originally constructed in 1902, the charming villa was offered by its owner Teo Eng Hock to Dr Sun Yat Sen for planning and conducting his revolutionary activities. Three major uprisings were planned in this villa. They were the Chaozhou Uprising of May 1907, the Zhennanguan Uprising of December 1907, and the Hekou Uprising of April 1908.

It was converted into a memorial hall by the Chinese Government in 1940 and was even used as a communication base during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. It was announced as National Monument by the Singapore Government in 1994 and was finally opened for public viewing on 8th October 2011.

Tips

  • Children below the age of 6 years, persons with disabilities and their first caregiver have free entry.
  • Food and drinks are allowed in the galleries.
  • Visitors are not allowed to touch the artefacts, paintings and other works. Leaning on the showcases are strictly prohibited.
  • Photography and videography are allowed but without flash, as the strong light can cause damage to some of the more fragile paper and textiles on display.
  • The complex and tours are operational on mondays if it is a public holiday.

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