Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky is a port town on the northwest coast of Sakhalin, on the shores of the Tatar Strait. It is considered the oldest settlement on the island, but it most famous for once being the short-term home of Anton Chekhov, where he wrote The Sakhalin Island.
There are 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 Nogilki 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, allowing you to return south with the Nogilki - Yuzno-Sakhalinsk train at 21.10. Remember to double check all this before heading out, since schedules change.
You may officially need a permit to enter the city, but the local government can't really seem to decide one way or the other, so check up on this in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk before heading out.
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 just west of the town, as well as the port's lighthouse, which is a little farther out (3km outside of the town).
Other sights include:
- Chekhov and Sakhalin Museum (Историко-литературный музей «Чехов и Сахалин»), ul. Chekova, 19, ☎ +7 (424340) 7-1245, . M-F 9-17. A small collection of materials relevant to Chekhov's time in Sakhalin, in the house where he lived while on the island collecting materials for Sakhalin Island. Foreigners: 5 rubles.
- Church of the Protection of the Mother of God (Храм Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы), ul. Sovetskaya, ☎ +7 (424340) 0-2176,. A large traditional wooden church with 6 small, but deep blue onion domes, the largest of which contain the a bell taken from the lighthouse and contains an inscription saying "Колокол имеет литую надпись, она гласит, что Государь и Великий князь Алексей Михайлович всея Руси дал сей колокол в пустынь Синозерскую при строителе черном попе Моисее в 1651г." how it ended up on Sakhalin remains a mystery. Колокол с маяка Жонкьер. The bell from the lighthouse Jonquières. Колокол имеет литую надпись, она гласит, что Государь и Великий князь Алексей Михайлович всея Руси дал сей колокол в пустынь Синозерскую при строителе черном попе Моисее в 1651г. The bell is cast inscription, it says that the Emperor and Grand Duke Alexei Mikhailovich All Russia gave this bell in the desert when Sinozerskuyu builder black transverse Moses in 1651g. Как попал это колокол в Александровск на маяк Жонкьер до сих пор остается загадкой. How did this bell in the lighthouse Aleksandrovsk Jonquières still remains a mystery. Сегодня колокол перенесен в храм Покрова Божией Матери. Today, Bell moved to the temple of the Protection of the Mother of God.
- Former Treasury Building (Здание бывшего казначейства). Built in 1880, this wooden log building northing short of the oldest on Sakhalin, and now houses various creative workshops
- Regional Museum (Краеведческий музей имени А. П. Чехова).
If you are resourceful, you might also get a local to direct you to the network of tunnels dug by prisoners at the katorga—a major nineteenth century penal camp on the island.
Eat & Drink
- Pearl café (Кафе Жемчужина), ul. Sovetskaya 1a.
- Three Brothers (гостиница 'Три брата'), ul. Dzerzhinsky 30, ☎ +7 (42434) 4-2518. The only hotel in town offers a bed in a double room for 1370 rubles.
- Post office (Почта России), ul. Sovetskaya 26, ☎ +7 (42434) 4-2240.