I went to visit Dr Sun  歷史足跡

I went to visit Dr Sun 歷史足跡

31st March 2019 0 By livinguktaiwan

Following my wander around Central, I went to visit Dr Sun one day. Dr Sun Yat Sen is the founding father of modern China and was pivotal in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty in 1911 to form the Republic of China. Despite the subsequent political differences between Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, Dr Sun is still highly respected by all the Chinese around the region, as well as the rest of the world.  Dr Sun spent some of his earlier years studying in Hong Kong in the late 19th century.  Traces of his footsteps can be found on many places around Central and mid levels. One such place is the Dr Sun Yat Sen Museum.

位於香港半山的孫中山紀念館,前身為甘堂第。1914年由當時香港華人首富,何東家族建造。當時英治下的半山,只有外國人才可居住,而何東家族是最早被允許遷上半山居住的華人。甘棠第建築風格融合了英國愛德華式和中方古典式。何東家族一直在這裏生活到60年代,之後大宅賣了給耶穌基督後期聖徒教會。直到2006年,香港政府把它改建為孫中山紀念館開放給公眾參觀。孫中山先生年青時在香港讀書,所以跟香港有一段淵源。中環半山一帶可以尋找到他不少足跡。 用甘棠第這間香港歷史大宅作為孫中山紀念館實在最適合不過。

Visit Dr Sun

The museum is located within a century old mansion at the mid levels called Kam Tong Hall. This was built by the richest Chinese merchant, the Hotung family in 1914 during the early years of British colonial rule. Back then, only the British could live at the mid levels. The Hotung family were the first Chinese family that were allowed to move into the area.


A big bronze statue of the young Dr Sun stands outside in the courtyard. He is holding some Chinese and English books and still wearing the traditional chinese style clothes from the Qing dynasty. This is a reflection of his love of education and reform, the transitional period from old to new, and a sign of moving towards the new world.


Inside the museum

The four storey house is filled with lots of very valuable artefacts about the Dr Sun’s life, in particularly about his time in Hong Kong.  There was a lot of information about his journey on how he was nurtured to become a great revolutionary leader, his 16 year exile in London and Japan and touring of Europe and US to raise awareness and funds for his revolutionary causes. His life story can’t really be condensed in a few sentences.  If you’re interested to find out more you can read it here. I prefer visual learning, and the museum was a great way for me learn more about this great statesmen.

There weren’t many other visitors when I was there, and the staff were very helpful in explaining everything.  They especially reminded me where I could and couldn’t take photos. Pretty much the entire interior of the house, and all the artefacts on display were off-limits. The main banquet hall and the staircase were the only area where photography was permitted.

我到訪當日只有少數遊人。屋內除了大樓梯和宴會廳,其他一概不准攝影,所以我在樓梯間流連了不少時間。三樓弧形露台有古羅馬式的圍欄,地上鋪了雅緻的地磚。 這裏應該不算大宅裏面喔,所以我拍了幾張照片!

The focal point of the house is the grand staircase. This teak staircase extends from the ground floor to the second floor and truly brings out the grandeur of the house. Luckily I was able to get some decent photos as there weren’t many other visitors.

The balcony is on the second floor.  It has a lovely curved balcony and beautiful tiles. Strictly speaking this isn’t the inside of the house, so I took the liberty of taking a few photos here.

After thought

I had another nice chat with the staff once I got back downstairs . They were quite surprised with my interest in the house as most locals and Chinese just wander around for a look. I told them that I used to live in UK and loved to visit old English houses. They were very eager to tell me more behind the scene stories about the work in restoring the house and the involvement by the Hotung family’s descendants. A few of them have returned to their former home after it was converted to the museum and were quite touched when they reminisce about their time here.

紀念館內的職員見我對大宅很感興趣,很樂意跟我閒聊,而且增補了更多資訊。他們說自紀念館開幕以來,何氏家族好幾位後人也有重回故居,懷念當年在這裏的生活。 當他們知道我在英國也認識另一位後人,他們更說希望有更多後人能回來口述當年的事蹟,好讓甘棠第的歷史能夠永遠留存。

In return I told that I briefly met one of the many descendants during my time in London, that’s why I am aware of Kam Tong Hall. They were quite excited when they were aware that more descendants are scattered around the world and wish that more of them could return and give their side of the story in order to preserve the history and memory of this majestic house.

If you’re ever in Hong Kong, and are interested to find out more about the history of Hong Kong, please do visit Dr Sun Yat Sen Museum. You can find more information about it here.