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Penang Malaysia
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Penang War Museum-Malaysia’s Biggest and Most Fascinating Fortresses

If you’re wondering what the most exciting things to do in Malaysia are, the information presented below will definitely come in handy. Penang War Museum was a frightening fortress put up by the British army in the 1930s to guard the island against their rivals. The site became famous in 1941 when the battle for Penang carried against the invading Japanese army turned out to be unsuccessful. At the moment, the place is a museum which can be explored by visitors willing to find out interesting things related to the history of Penang. 

Located on the southern coast of Penang, on the road that leads to Teluk Kumbar, the structure is the biggest war museum of Southeast Asia, and thus, one of the most interesting places to visit in Malaysia. Initially, the fortress was meant to be a preserved citadel built as part of a plan to guard against foreign invasion. The site is also referred to as Muzium Perang Pulau Pinang and is one of the most important historical attractions of the area. People who wonder what to do in Malaysia will realize that visiting the Penang War Museum is one of the best choices that they could have made.

Penang War Museum- History

The stronghold was built over 20 acres of land and it features underground military tunnels, ammunition bunkers, canon firing bays, cook houses, ventilation shafts, logistic centers, sleeping quarters, as well as medical infirmary. Once a British fort, the place was used by Sikh, Malay and British soldiers.Unfortunately, it fell when the Japanese army took everyone by surprise and initiated an attack against the bastion from inland, not from the sea as the British army was expecting. Having such a great history behind, this museum is definitely a good choice for all tourists who don’t know where to go in Malaysia.

From that moment (17 December 1941), the Japanese sequestered the stronghold and converted it into a prison base where they performed acts of torture in an attempt to force prisoners to reveal information that could help them advance into Malaya. In the following years, all those who lived in the area were afraid to get close to the fortress due to its reputation as a site haunted by the ghosts of dead soldiers. As a matter of fact, the bastion was even called “Bukit Hantu” (Ghost Hill) by the locals.

Present-day function

In 2002, the Penang War Museum was transformed into a memorial, as well as into an educational center, and became available to the public. The 20-acre museum offers visitors the chance to see historical artifacts like cannons, underground military tunnels and even ammunition bunkers that are situated nine meters underground. These passageways will guide you to the sea, since they were once used as access routes by the soldiers who had to get to their submarines. It’s not easy to explore these tunnels, as you might even have to crawl through really narrow, cramped spaces. However, this is one of the main reasons why tourists fall in love with the plethora of amazing things to do in Penang.

Furthermore, you will also have the possibility to travel around the barracks, gun emplacements, cookhouses and several other structures while visiting the creepy and huge Penang War Museum. And don’t worry, there are numerous signposts that will help you get wherever you want.

What can you see at the War Museum?

Apart from the things mentioned above, the museum also provides a plethora of information signs with reference to the artifacts and numerous old photographs that illustrate the way in which prisoners and armies used to live there. Additionally, you will also be able to admire one of the antique bicycles that the Japanese soldiers utilized to pass through Peninsular Malaysia, as well as several pictures of them riding them. That being said, it becomes obvious that most of the tourists who ask themselves what to do in Penang decide visiting this outstanding museum.

Practical information

Located on Pulau Pinang, the museum is opened daily from 9am to 6pm, and it can be visited by all those who want to find out more about Penang and its fascinating history. The war museum requires an admission fee of RM30 for foreigners and RM15 for Malaysians, and can be reached with the following bus routes: U305, U302, and U307.

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