Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky (Russian: Алекса́ндровск-Сахали́нский, ah-leek-SAHND-ruvsk suh-khah-LEEN-skee) is a port town on the northwest coast of Sakhalin, on the shores of the Tatar Strait. It was known as Akō (亜港) during Japanese occupation between 1918-1925. It was the first settlement on the island, and for its first 30 or so years was the administrative center of Russian Sakhalin. But it is most famous for once being the short-term home of Anton Chekhov, where he wrote The Sakhalin Island. The penal colony that so horrified the famous author no longer exists, but the town retains its other two roles as a coal mining center and an important port on the island, home to about 12,000.

Get in

There is one daily bus between Tymovsk and Alexandrovsk (leaving 8 o'clock at the time of writing), connecting with the daily overnight train between Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Nogliki which arrives at 7.51; any of the other departures on the railway would require you to overnight in Tymovsk. In the opposite direction there is a daily bus from Alexandrovsk at 17.00, allowing you to return south with the Nogliki – Yuzno-Sakhalinsk train at 21.10. Remember to double check all this before heading out, since schedules change .

Get around

Use your feet, it will do you good, and the town is not that big.


Monument to Chekhov outside the Museum on the main square

The sightseeing capital of the Far East this is not, but there are a few things even beyond the requisite Chekhov Museum. Look for the Three Brothers (Три брата), a set of three monolithic rocks jutting out of the water about 3 km west of the town, as well as the port's lighthouse, just south of the rocks, overlooking the green cliffs.

Other sights include:


If you are resourceful, you might also get a local to direct you to the network of tunnels dug by prisoners at the katorgaa major nineteenth century penal camp on the island.


Eat & Drink



Go next

This article is significantly based on work which can be found at The Russian Wikivoyage. A list of authors can be found here.
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