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Penang War Museum, Part 1: Things You Need To Know

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Hi everyone! So, today I would like to share about my short trip to Penang War Museum with my so-called travel buddy. (Actually, both of us are broke, so we should start traveling in our state first. Hahahaha!)

penang war museum
Pamphlet

We went to the Penang War Museum and this museum is also known as one of the most haunted places in Asia. Is it true? Ermm. I’m not sure about it as we went there in the morning. The night tour is also available, but I don’t have that much courage to explore that museum at night. I would pee in my pants if a ghost appears in front of my face!

We departed at 8:40 AM and arrived there around 9:30 AM. Before I go any further, I would like to share some information for your reference if you want to visit this museum.

war museum maps
Maps

PENANG WAR MUSEUM

Place Name: War Museum, Pulau Pinang
Proprietor:
Mr Johari Shafie
Operating Hours: 9:00 AM — 6:00 AM & 7:00 PM — 11:00 PM
Address: No. Lot 1350, Mukim 12, Daerah Barat Daya, Batu Maung, 11960 Pulau Pinang
Contact Info:
Customer Service:
016 – 421 3606 / 04 – 626 5142 Fax: 04 – 644 8015 / 04 – 626 4142
Email: penangwarmuseum@yahoo.com
Facebook: Penang War Museum.

Entrance Fee: RM 22.00
Note: There are 2 categories for this entrance fee which are for foreigner and mykad holder. The price for each category is different for adults, children, and families. I forgot to snap the picture of it, but you may refer to the price list in this blog Keyza — War Museum Penang.

Dos & Don’ts here (I wrote this based on what is written on the pamphlet and my own experience)

Do’s

  1. Wear sports shoes — too many stairs and the hills here are quite steep, and it took 2 hours for us to explore all spots in this museum.
  2. Wear a T-shirt — the biggest mistake I’ve done was I wore a sweatshirt. It was damn hot!
  3. Wear sunblock and a cap
  4. Bring along your insect repellent if needed.
  5. Keep to dedicated walking paths so that you won’t get lost in the anime dimension. I’m kidding ok! Hahaha!
  6. Bring a bottle of water — Both of us forgot to bring our water bottle. It felt like we were stranded in a desert.

Don’ts

  1. Take nothing but photographs and memories
  2. Leave nothing but footprints
  3. Do not smoke
  4. Do not bring pets, radio, or bicycles into the museum.

Is it Disabled-Friendly? — Physically
(Disclaimer: I wrote this based on my personal experience)
Wheelchair: No (Wheelchair is not accessible in this museum, only stairs are available)
Walking frame: No (the space of the stairs is too small for walking frame users.)
Axillary/Elbow Crutches: Yes (If you are strong, skilled, and brave enough to walk on the narrow stairs and steep hills. But, I suggest for you to wait until you don’t have to use the crutches anymore as the museum won’t leave you just like your ex did XD.)

Public Facilities
Toilet: Available
Musolla/Surau (Small Mosque): Not sure
Resting Place: Available (Bench)
Kiosk: Available — There is a small kiosk that sells snacks and beverages at the entrance

Activities:

  1. Night Tour Mystic Adventure
  2. Private Function
  3. 100ft Tunnel X’plore & Submarine Bay
  4. Team Building / War Games
  5. Dormitory / Camp Stay
  6. WWII Trench & Jungle Trekking
  7. Etc…

Ok, now let’s read a little history about this place (which I took from the pamphlet).

This Penang War Museum once was known as Penang Fort, this mighty fortress was built in the 1930s by the Royal British Engineers. This fortress is located in the south-eastern part of Penang Island on top of Batu Maung Hill.

They built this fortress as a coastal defense to protect the island against enemies that are coming from the Strait of Malacca. However, the Japanese Imperial Army has managed to capture the whole of Malaya during World War II. Since then, the Penang Fort was turned into a prisoner of war camp during the Japanese occupation for 3 years and 8 months.

The fortress was constructed on 20 acres of land, completed with underground military tunnels and ventilation shafts, ammunition bunkers, loading bay, canon firing bays, observation tower, sleeping quarters, cookhouses, and medical infirmary. Since the day of the surrender of the Japanese, what was once the best kept secret fortress has turned into a hidden monument as it was left abandoned and forgotten for almost 60 years.

After several years of restoration of the fortress, Mr Johari Shafie whose passion is geared towards the history of Malaya managed to turn this abandoned fortress into the first outdoor living war museum in South East Asia. With his deliberate dedication and effort, Mr Johari has also made this Penang War museum as a member of The Founding Congress of the International World War II Association, 2015.

That’s all for now. Thank you so much for reading my blog post. Related post “Penang War Museum, Part 2: Lights Suddenly Went Out?!


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