Penang war museum, Malaysia

If you are a mystery hunter..there is one place in Penang you should not miss. Perched on the hills of Batu a now privately owned fortress built during the World War II. This 20 acre property on the southern part of Penang is sure to send chills down your spine….as you crawl thro the underground tunnels…or surround you with an eerie feeling as you peek into the pill boxes or ammunition chambers.
This is Penang war museum.
At the wide entrance you are welcomes by blow ups of news paper articles from which we learnt that this was a site chosen by national geographic as  one of the haunted sites…
Once you pay the entrance fee (those who have work permit please carry your passport as the fee reduces but half) RM 30 for a tourist you are guided by a map …and painted arrows on the floor….most of the exhibits are numbered which makes it easy.
In 1930,this British built fort was strategic point from where they guarded the south east asian territory. This fort was then manned by British, Malay and Sikh soldiers as the  staying quarters indicate. It was interesting to note that they has separate dining areas too.
The ammunition chambers, with their thick walls, the deep well like tunnels,observation towers,lock ups, underground paths, trenches are mostly kept intact.
The gun firing bays have numerous marks of bullets too on the wall. The real cannons are missing but it is not difficult for one to imagine the activity which would have been during that period
As you  pass through the underground tunnels in pitch darkness….you wonder how the soldiers crawl through these with heavy ammunition….with hardly any gap other than to move ahead….and vertical exits with bare minimum support….
It was an interesting read that the Japanese force captured the fortress without loss of a single soldier to them….following which this was held as a torture centre.But visiting the torture areas gave one a real feel of the war and it’s gruesome details. This area left us pondering….what do we achieve by war….power ?
Following the world war this piece of history late abandoned for more than 5 decades. The restoration is done well. We were amazed at the exhibits marked as still live and also the mine fields.
Along the path you will find accounts of the plants too which served as sustainance and medicine for the soldiers.
The torture chambers, the guillotine and the photographic walls…triggers an eerie feeling…and it was completed for us by a cat who kept following us….
It is a long walk  climbing stairs, winding paths and crawling through tunnels..inside so equip yourself for hydration. There are enough resting spots …some done very well with a hammock and a tyre swing too….reminded me of our childhood…yes I did enjoy the swing after many years…also please carry insect repellent and a cap…it can get a bit hot.
If you like will find yourself soaking up the details for a whole day….and if you dare… should try the night tour.
Psst…. I wouldn’t advice it for small children….as it leaves you with a strong sense of the heaviness of war….and then open exhibits of torture and guillotine is simply too much for a young mind. For older children it is an excellent piece of learning about the world war…..parental control advised.

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Narayanan D
9 years ago

Nice one

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