Not everyone living in Penang and Malaysia knew of this war museum located on the southeast side of Penang island. It was originally built by the Royal British Engineers as a fortress in the 1930’s to defend and protect the island against enemies coming from Strait of Malacca.
The Japanese Imperial Army has managed to capture the whole of Malaysia during WWII. The fortress was turned into a POW camp during the Japanese occupation. Before the arrival of the Japanese army, an order was issued from General Arthur Percival’s Headquarters (in Singapore) on 15 December 1941 for his soldiers to destroy all artilleries, ammunition, weapons, and tanks with a second order to evacuate British civilians only, leaving Penang helpless and defenceless against the Japanese army invasion.
The site was left abandoned and forgotten for almost 60 years after the war. It took several years of restoration and was officially opened in 2002 as the only outdoor living war museum of its kind in South East Asia.
Beware when you visit the museum. It is listed as one of the Top 10 most haunted sites in Asia by the National Geographic Channel! Although when I was there, I was perfectly fine and haven’t come across any strange phenomenon except mosquitoes. Make sure you bring along an insect repellant when visiting. There were lots of mosquitoes when I was there.