National Geographic Channel has listed the Penang War Museum in the top 10 haunted sites in Asia. For many years the locals called it Bukit Hantu (Ghost Hill) because of its grisly past where the Japanese tortured and executed 100's of hapless victims.
The Penang War Museum is a bygone relic from the mid twentieth century that has been reinvigorated to allow visitors an insight into army life during and before world war 2 on Penang Island.
Situated on 20 acres of land high on a hill in Batu Maung you can understand from a military perspective why the British Royal Engineers chose this location with a mandate to protect both the Butterworth airfield on the mainland and any potential naval aggression in the Straits of Malacca.
After being abandoned for many years the sturdy nature of the structures ensured that all the buildings stood the test of time remarkably well and they give a fascinating insight into the lives of the soldiers of that era.
This military fortress was manned by British, Malay and Indian soldiers of all ranks and their living quarters are still intact complete with sleeping quarters, toilets, kitchen and there are underground pipes supplying water from a nearby well. Other buildings still intact include the command centre, a lock up and an infirmary.
There are many underground tunnels to explore including a deep tunnel that leads all the way down to the sea for access to submarines.
There is a reinforced concrete wall that succumbed to a Japanese bomb leaving a startling reminder in the shape of a gaping hole what these weapons were capable of some seventy years ago.
Close by there are cannon bays and bunkers that were manned day and night armed with machine guns and anti-aircraft armaments ready to fight to defend the island.
Bunkers and tunnels 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.
During the second world war after the Japanese had taken Penang they used this military fortress as an army base to interrogate prisoners and for many years after the war stories arose about ghostly sightings on this hill that ensured the local populace kept a healthy distance.
This was my first visit to the Penang War Museum and I was fascinated reading and learning about the history of this military fortress.
Penang War Museum Location Map
Penang War Museum
Penang War Museum
This was my first visit to the Penang War Museum and I was fascinated reading and learning about the history of this military fortress
The Penang War Museum is a bygone relic from the mid twentieth century that has been reinvigorated to allow visitors an insight into army life during and before world war 2 on Penang Island
Written by: Michael Joseph
Penang War Museum
Date published: 22/04/2013
Penang War Museum Star Rating
Penang War Museum,
Lot 1350, Mukim 12, Daerah Barat Daya, Batu Maung
- Phone: +604 626 5142
GPS Latitude - 5.281488
GPS Longitude - 100.288717
Hours: Mon-Fri 9.00am - 6:00pm - Sat-Sun 9.00am - 6:00pm
This once proud British military fortress illustrates the ravages of war and mankinds capability to cope in the face of adversity.
There is an ammunition bunker dug deep into the ground to protect the munitions from enemy fire and due to the thickness of its walls it is still in excellent shape to this day.
I was also surprised at just how large this complex is and I would recommend taking 2 to 3 hours to walk around and visit all the attractions and military artefacts.
Penang War Museum Entance Ticket Fee
Entrance Ticket Cost: Malaysian Child: RM10.00
Entrance Ticket Cost: Malaysian Adult: RM20.00
Entrance Ticket Cost: Foreign Child: RM17.00
Entrance Ticket Cost: Foreign Adult: RM35.00
Penang War Museum Useful Information
Explore WW2 trench and jungle tracking
Explore 100ft tunnel and submarine bay
Dormitory or camp over night stay available
War games/team building activities available
Directions: Heading south, drive through the main traffic lights in Batu Maung, take the next left, it is well signposted
Wheelchair Friendly: No
Parking: Plentiful parking with 2 car parks available