Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky (Александровск-Сахалинский) 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, and 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. The penal colony that so horrified the famous author no longer exists, but it retains its other two roles as a coal mining center and an important port on the island, home to about 12,000.
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 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, 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
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.
Use your feet, it will do you good, and the town is not that big.
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 katorga—a major nineteenth century penal camp on the island.
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