Orthodox church, Sakhalin island, Russian Far East

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Sakhalin Island

El Dorado for present-day businessfolk and ‘hell’ to Anton Chekhov in 1890 (not to mention the thousands and thousands of prisoners shipped here from the late 19th century), Sakhalin Island these days is defined by its booming oil and gas hub, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. But there's much more to this often beautiful island, which is filled with a wild terrain of forests, islands of seals, streams full of fish, slopes for skiing and lots and lots of bears. Relatively cheap flights can get you here, but prepare to open the purse strings once you’ve arrived: Sakhalin is no place for shoestringers.


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