Penang War Museum Founded on 1930
Penang • Get location
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Penang War Museum is the largest war museum in Southeast Asia and it is a privately owned heritage site that sits in massive 20 acres of land. It is also the most expensive fortress built in South East Asia. Explore the dark past of this 

Penang War Museum serves as an intellectual treasure and historical pieces of Penang. This is a place where we all understand how much lives, efforts, and funds that has been put in by our ancestor to obtain the civilisation and peace we have today.

Penang War Museum has also won some of the internationally famous awards such as:
1. Top 10 Hidden Cities in Asia by National Geographic Channel in 2013
2. Member of ‘The Founding Congress of The International WWII Museum Association 2015’

Attractions in Penang War Museum

  1. Pill Box's built around the fortress.
    World War II Pill Box serves as miniature fortresses or fortifications to check on the advancement of  enemy troops. They were built by both the British as well as the Japanese. Each pillbox can accommodate a couple of soldiers manning machine guns.
  2. Underground Tunnels
    There are many underground tunnels in the museum area that is worth exploring. Some of the tunnels can lead all the way down to the sea for access to submarines.
  3. Army Barracks and bunkers
    In the museum area, there are cannon bays and bunkers that were manned and armed by the British soldiers with machine guns and anti-aircraft armaments ready to fight to defend the island. In this fort, bunkers and tunnels can be found criss-cross over this military fortress and the Penang War Museum have re-created a setting whereby it is easy to get into the mindset of the soldier stationed here many years earlier.
  4. Japanese Occupation relics
    Bicycle use by Japanese soldiers when they conquer the island can be seen in the museum as well as the guns, uniforms and torture tools of the Japanese army. The torture that was used on the prisoners can be seen in the museum and inflict some spooky thoughts to the visitors.
The fort has not been fully restored yet. There are a lot more secret tunnels yet to be restored for your visit. One of the tunnels even connects the hill to the submarine landing bay at the seaside. Visit this place to help fund Penang War Museum to open up new tunnels for your visit.


Background Story
Note: This is a draft. The proofreading is not complete.

The Story Of The Batu Maung Fort
The War Musuem started when the British came and created the military fort on Bukit Batu Maung (or ‘Batu Maung Hill’) in the 1930s. It was designed by Royal British Engineers and the project was officially designated the ‘South Channel Gun Emplacement’. A team of labourers (war prisoners or employees of the British Empire) from South Africa, India, Nepal, Gibraltar and beyond was appointed to build the fort.

Batu Maung Fort was designed to protect British shipping routes around the Malayan Peninsula and also to provide military defence for the Royal Air Force base at Butterworth which was just sitting across the Penang Channel. The fort was mainly staff by British & Punjabi Indian soldiers. The Punjab soldiers had a particularly fearsome reputation amongst the locals, so that during those early years the place earned the nickname of ‘Punjab Hill.’ However, once completed, the fort was only use for 5 years before the Japanese came and conquer Penang.

When the Japanese came, the British decided to destroy most of the military technologies so the technologies do not fall into the Japanese Imperial Army control. The fortress was then turned into a prison for 3 years and 8 months during the Japanese occupation.

Once the Japanese army surrendered in the 1940s, the fort was left abandoned and hidden for almost 60 years. In 2002, Mr. Johari Shafie who is passionate about the history of Malaya, found the fortress, collected the bits and pieces of evidence, books and information from those who have been imprisoned in the fort, restored it and turned it into the first outdoor living war museum, one of its kind in South East Asia.

Operating Hours
TODAY09:00 AM-06:00 PM
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