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Okha

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Okha (Russian: Оха́, ah-KHAH) [1] 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.

Get in[edit]

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 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 su* pposed to depart at 10:30, leaving you 17 minutes to make your transfer.

Okha Airport (ICAO: UHSH) sees a SAT Airlines [2] 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. Yakutia Airlines operates service between Khabarovsk and Okha several times per week utilizing Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft

Get around[edit]

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.

  • Corona Taxi, 28 Karla Marksa st., +7 (42437) 2616. Can get you around, if your own two feet don't seem all that attractive with the thermometer plunging below minus 30 degrees outside.  edit

See[edit][add listing]

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.

  • Okha Museum of Regional Studies, 1 Sovetskaya st., +7 (42437) 37724, [3]. Preordered visits only. The town's feeble attempt at a museum with ethnographic and archaeological exhibitions related to the indigenous tribes of the area, and some photographs and "art" about the Russian explorations of this remote region.  edit
  • Nekrasovska This small village, 28 km northwest of Okha, is home to the largest remaining community of the indigenous Nivkhi tribe. Take a marshrutka if you can find one, or find a cab driver, which while no easy feat either should be slightly easier.

Do[edit][add listing]

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.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Khiton Store (ХИТОН), ul. Karla Marksa 22, +7 (42437) 2-5009. General store with everything from food and clothing to electrical appliances.  edit


Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Cafe Kristall (кафе Кристалл), ul. Komsomolskaya 25., +7 (42437) 2-7110. Look for a big "Кристалл" sign next to Hotel Canada.  edit
  • Galata (Галата), ul. Dzerzhinsky 3, +7 (42437) 2-4437.  edit
  • Cafe Faraon (кафе фараон), ul. Dzerzhinskogo 23 (in the basement of hotel Sakhalin Sfera). Come here for the classic Soviet customer service experience. Food is expensive but the wifi is free.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Pivzavod Okha (Пивзавод Оха), 41 Karla Marksa st.. A local brewery, the beers are reported to be quite good.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Canada (Канадская гостиница), Komsomolskaya st. 24A, +7 (42437) 20916 (). Singles 850 RUB, shared bedrooms 600 RUB.  edit
  • Hotel Oilman (гостиница Нефтяник), 40 Lenin St., +7 (42437) 44110. It's really not that fancy, but this old apartment building converted into a hotel is the town's best shot at an upmarket accommodation choice.  edit
  • Hotel Satellite (Гостиница Сателлит), +7 (42437) 23719 (), [4]. Affiliated with SAT airlines, this hotel has singles, doubles and triples equipped with water heaters, showers, televisions and some have kitchenettes. Some rooms are rented out on a shared basis for as low as 750 rub, otherwise a night will set you back 2100-3400 rub..  edit

Cope[edit]

  • Sberbank (Сбербанка), 32 Sovetskaya St, +7 (42437) 20228, [5]. This branch of Russia's largest bank is the only one in town.  edit
  • Post Office (Почта России), 19 Dzerzhinsky St, +7 (42437) 23006, [6].  edit

Get out[edit]

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 is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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