Nostalgic Photos of Kota Kinabalu in 1979

Ever wonder how Kota Kinabalu looked like in 1979? These vintage photos will take you to a journey through time.

Kota Kinabalu has been developing rapidly over the past decade and if you’re new to Kota Kinabalu it’s hard to identify where the older part of the city is located.

This post is a Part II of the two-part series of Kota Kinabalu in 1979. If you missed the first part, don’t forget to enjoy the photos here.

Here are some more vintage photos of Kota Kinabalu taken in 1979.

This beautiful esplanade was taken outside of Wisma Gaya. You can see the port with the old Shell tanks which were relocated in early 1980’s.

Everything looked so neat and organised around Segama Complex in KK. Notice the old plate number ‘EJA.’ Pickup trucks were already a popular vehicle then.

Now here’s the inner part of Segama Complex looked like. Typical design in those days.

The central market was just built back then.

The Yayasan Sabah Building was completed in 1977. In this photo it’s just about two years old.

These types of fishing boats are still common until today and can be seen from the sea front of Kota Kinabalu.

The houses on stilts were a signature sight of Kota Kinabalu. The whole of Kampung Air has become a commercial centre.

Don’t forget to view Part I of this series here. What did you miss most about KK then? Did you enjoy the photos? Please share!

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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. Follow me on Twitter @richardker.


  1. I remember those places really well.I was 18 then…funny but I can still smell the sea as if i am there standing under the shades of Wisma Gaya.

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