Okha (Russian: Оха́, ah-KHAH) is a city and important oil hub on the northern tip of Sakhalin island in the Russian Far East. Ancestors of the 29.000 people living here named the town Okha, with their usual pragmatism: it derived from an indigenous word for bad water, to which the town owes its existence. Oil was discovered here in the late 19th century, and today it's the center of the island's oil industry.

A view of Okha

Get in

Although many maps show a rail line connecting Okha and Nogilki, the tracks have since been removed. Transportation from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is either done by air or in a combination of train and bus. Train #1 running once per day between Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Nogliki, often (but not always) has a 6 wheel drive bus (line 530) waiting to take passengers the last 250 km up a muddy dirt road to Okha: it's supposed to depart at 10:30, leaving you 17 minutes to make your transfer.

Okha Airport sees a SAT Airlines Antonov AN-24 propeller aircraft landing 3 times per week from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, when weather permits. SAT has also recently opened a route to Khabarovsk on Tuesdays and Thursdays from mid-June to mid-September.

Get around

For anywhere you are likely to go in Okha, walking should be sufficient. Busses 129 (for Tungor south of Okha) and 149 run to and from the airport about every hour between 7AM and 7PM. Bus 180 bound for the harbour of Moskal'vo makes a stop in Nekrasovska (check see section below) 3-4 times per week (M, W, F & Sa at the time of writing), departing Okha at 6.20AM and arriving at 7.30AM.


Described by most passing business folks and oil people as utterly depressing, add the whole 'end of the road' situation, and your equation should end up along the lines of a town you would only visit while on business. If you insist, try to get here before the snow melts, it adds a certain charm to the place.


If you're not here to board a helicopter or supply ship to one of the oil and gas platforms further north, you took a wrong turn somewhere! Unless this mishap has taken place in January or June when the indigenous tribes have their main annual festivals, retrace your steps, and return down south — or shoulder your Arctic gear, sleeping bag, tent, and rifle and go explore the wilderness.






Go next

You've reached the end of the road: convince someone in the oil business to hire you to go further north, or turn around and head south.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 05, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.