"Europe in the Far East" Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk by saracen

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 42 photos

Sakhalin Island

Sakhalin is an island located in the far east of Russia, in the Sea of Okhotsk. The Tartar Straits separate it from De Kastri on the Russian mainland, and the Straits of La Peruse are all that stand between us and Hokkaido, Northern Japan.

Up until the Second World War, the southern half of the island was Japanese and the northern half was Russian. During this time, it served as a Russian gulag.

After the war, the island was united under Russian ownership. Today there is still an ongoing dispute between Japan and Russia over ownership of some of the minor Kuril islands that stretch south of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The locals in the city are predominately Caucasian/European with a sizeable minority of Koreans, brought over by the Japanese as slave workers during WWII, and made to stay by the Soviet Russians.

There are also quite a few indiginous tribes of semi nomadic reindeer herders etc. who live to the north of the island. These people are sadly struggling to maintain their traditional way of life, and seem to be suffering significantly as the island rapidly moves into the 21st century.

Yuzhno Sakhalinsk

Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, generally called just Yuzhno, is the administrative capital of the island. It is home to around 200,000 people and is the largest city on the island.

The main industries located here are administrative ones in relation to its regional importance, plus many main offices for the numerous fishing and natural resources companies.

Oil production has long been a feature of Sakhalin industry, but until the arrival of the international oil majors in the 1990's, all production was from onshore sites. Now there is huge investment in the offshore continental shelf to the east and north of the island.

Winter on Sakhalin

Winters are pretty tough - blizzards and typhoons can last for days, dumping metres of snow on the island. However, the remarkable perseverance of the people means that they very quickly manage to overcome the obstacles, and life resumes as normal very soon afterwards.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice environment, great summers.
  • Cons:Far from everywhere else, expensive, terrible, long winters.
  • In a nutshell:A real melting pot of Asian and European.
  • Intro Updated Oct 14, 2006
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Reviews (9)

Comments (19)

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    This is really off-the-beaten path, thanks for the insight

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Nov 4, 2007 at 4:49 PM

    Great page. Thank you for sharing. Very interesting and well conveyed.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2007 at 1:25 AM

    Enjoyed reading your local custom tips about life in this less travelled destination. Cheers from Penang Island, SL :)

  • enochkwon's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2007 at 11:12 PM

    I read ur wrings well. thanks! If have more information about Sakhalinsk, why don't we share it?

  • mim95's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2007 at 2:23 PM

    Very interesting place!

  • Lunaina's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2007 at 12:25 AM

    interesting page, tips on shopping, and the place you live!! nice!!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2007 at 6:35 PM

    Very interesting tips, especially on shopping. I didn't expect so high prices for food. Some great pics in travelogues also (Russian Orthodox Cathedral!).

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2006 at 2:46 PM

    Looks like a fascinating place to live.

  • CyberCroat's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2006 at 7:53 AM

    just checked the weather for yuzho s. - seems that winter didn't bypass you like it did with europe :)

  • xuessium's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2006 at 4:04 PM

    Gosh - way far out and there is a VTer here! Thanks for the quick tour. Never imagined "meeting" a VTer residing on Sakhalin.

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