• Opening Hour

    9.00am to 6.00pm daily

  • Location

    No Lot 1350 Mukim 12, Batu Maung Daerah Barat Daya  11960 Pulau Pinang

  • Admission Fee


    • Adult: RM30
    • Child (5 – 12 years) :Rm15


    • Adult: Rm15
    • Child (5 – 12 years): RM7.50
  • Exploration Time

    1-2 hours

Brief Introduction

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.


Batu Maung Fort was built by the Royal Engineers in the 1930s to defendPenang Island from amphibious invasions, as well as to protect the Royal Air Force base in Butterworth across the Penang Channel. The fortress, built on Punjab Hill at the southeastern tip of Penang Island, consists of bays for cannons and anti-aircraft guns, a command centre, a prison, sleeping quarters, a cookhouse and concrete pillboxes, all of which are connected via tunnels dug into the hill.

During World War 2, as Penang Island was being pummeled by Japanese warplanes and the Imperial Japanese Army penetrated further southwards, the British high command in Malaya under Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival decided to withdraw the Penang garrison. Although Penang Island still had some strategic importance due to the submarine cables that passed through the island, Percival ordered the retreat, as he did not want to stretch his resources fighting ‘the enemy both on the mainland and on Penang Island.

During the Japanese Occupation of Penang, the Imperial Japanese Army used the fortress as a base to protect Japanese shipping around Penang Island. After the war ended in 1945, the fortress was left abandoned to be swallowed up by the surrounding jungles.


The Penang War Museum was restored as a memorial to its dark days and opened to the public in 2002. Interesting fact: the 20-acre museum houses historical artefacts such as cannons and even features underground military tunnels and ammunition bunkers which are located nine metres underground. Some of these tunnels lead all the way to the sea as they once served as access routes to get to submarines. Navigating through these passageways sometimes forces one to walk or even crawl through very narrow, confined spaces.


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