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  • Access to Penang War Museum

Penang War Museum in Bukit Batu Maung was a fort built by the British in the 1930s and in 1941 it gained fame when it became the site where the battle for Penang against the invading Japanese army was lost and it is billed as Southeast Asia’s largest war museum.

Located in the South East corner of Penang Island, the Penang War Museum sits on 20 acres of hilltop land that was once the site of a British military fortress, built in the 1930’s to protect the island from a possible Japanese invasion by sea. The amphibious invasion never happened. The Japanese instead launched a series of aerial bombardments forcing the British to decide to withdraw to Singapore.

Penang eventually fell to the Japanese on 17 December 1941.

During the Japanese occupation of Penang Island, the Japanese used this fortress as an army base and prison, where the torture and interrogation of prisoners was conducted.

After WWII, the fortress was abandoned and the jungle took over again.

Some 30 years later the job of reclaiming the land started to take place and the War Museum was opened as both a memorial and educational centre.

Today, most of the buildings and underground tunnels built by the British Royal Engineers and a local labour force are still there for you to wander around, with a lot of old photographs and information signs about the artefacts and the way of life of the soldiers and prisoners that once lived here.


  • 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, daily
  • Last admission: 1 hour before closing time
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