A Visit to Sun Yat-sen old house
Dr Sun Yat-sen was born in Cuiheng village, in the Nanlang township of Zhongshan. The place is some 20 odd km away from Zhongshan city centre. His former lodge has been turned into a tourist complex, where several neighbouring old village houses have been conserved as well as a museum built to commemorate the great man. The place is known in Chinese as Sun Zhongshan gu ju ( 孙中山故居 ) or the former residence of Sun Zhongshan.
I suppose getting a taxi ride would be the easiest for any visitor. However, I decided to take a bus after talking with the hotel receptionist as the bus stop was only 5 minutes walk away. Besides that I also wanted to experience the local condition more closely. The local bus no. 12 travels the route. I could see that the service was frequent, probably at 10 minutes interval. The air-conditioned bus ride was comfortable, with a conductor on board selling tickets. She told me the fares to Sun Zhongshan gu ju was 5 Yuan. The bus made announcement and also displayed the destination at every stop and thus visitors should have little fear of not knowing when to alight.
The entrance to the former residence complex is free. The crowd was not big on the day. The first place I visited was the museum. The exhibits chronicle the live of Sun Yat-sen, about his peasant family background, people who influenced him, his early days, his education, his activities in rebelling against the Qing dynasty, the republican or war lord era, his marriage to the beautiful Soong Qingling and his final years. Several books written by him were also on sales in the museum.
The old family house is surprisingly painted in red and white, built in neo-Western style. It must have been rebuilt and redecorated after his family became wealthier or he became famous. It seemed rather like a mansion when compared to the other houses, but it was not big at all when viewed from the inside. The rooms are smaller than those of an average Australian house. Several traditional peasant village houses were also on display, showing houses belonging to different families in the Cuiheng village.
Front view of the old house
A peasant house on display
After spending about 2 hours there, it was time to walk to the bus stop and get back to the city.