10 Beautiful Historic Old Photos of Kudat – the First Capital of North Borneo

In the Northern tip of Borneo is Kudat – the first capital of British North Borneo, and the area remains one of the most beautiful places in Sabah.

Kudat was founded by A H Everett of the British North Borneo Company on December 7, 1881. It was chosen as the first capital of British North Borneo, due to its strategic geographic location.

However, after being repeatedly raided by Bajau, Sulu and Illanun pirates, in 1883 the capital was shifted to the more secure port of Sandakan, on the east coast.

Kudat was once often an important port of call for many steamships travelling in the Far East.

The market in Kudat provided necessities to the community.

The residency in Kudat.

Governments office in Kudat.

Kudat has also its hotel or resthouse (shown above), with agencies, stores, shops, and bungalows, which supply all the wants of the mixed community.

Kudat’s old town centre which eventually was destroyed during WWII.

Another view of Kudat town from the book Views of British North Borneo.

Finally, this is another different view of Kudat in 1938. Any idea where exactly was this taken?

In the footage below, the first few minutes show Kudat after the war.

Kudat has a long and interesting history but I’m surprised that the history and the importance of Kudat is not well told.

Related PostThe “Missing” Footage of Kudat, Jesselton & Sandakan Just After World War II

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Richard Ker

I love the history of North Borneo (Sabah) and strive to digitally archive any related information on this website. I'm also the author of LifeinMy.com and CyberjayaCity.com. Follow me on Twitter @richardker.

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