The Majestic Beauty of Sakhalin Island

Of all the islands in Russia, Sakhalin Island ranks amongst the biggest in the country. Once home to the Ainu, before they were forcibly relocated, it has been discovered that this Russian island was inhabited during the Neolithic Stone Age. Artifacts, such as flints, stone weights, earthenware, pottery and bronze, have been excavated from the island. Together with the Kuril Islands, the fight for ownership of the islands has been a long-standing dispute between Japan and Russia.

Sakhalin Island is approximately 948 kilometers in length and covers an area of approximately 76 400 square kilometers. The island has an extremely diverse range of vegetation with large, dense forests covering the mountainous central and southern regions of the island. In the north of the island there are swamps and taiga plains. At present, Sakhalin has an estimated population of 546 thousand residents, and is one of the few islands in Russia that is so highly populated. Residents rely on tourism as an industry that contributes to the economy, with forestry, coal mining, oil and gas luring foreign investors such as Shell and ExxonMobil. The agricultural sector of Sakhalin produces barley, rye, vegetables, wheat and oats.

Visitors to Russia's Sakhalin Island will be able to find conventional attractions, such as the Sakhalin Regional Art Museum that was founded in 1983 and is housed in the old Hokkaido Takuseku Bank building that was constructed in the 1930’s. But most guests and tourists are attracted to the Russian islands because of their natural beauty, and Sakhalin Island has beauty in abundance. Vegetation on the island plays a major role in the species of wildlife that can be found here. Here, plant species such as the Kurile Bamboo, Amur Cork Tree, Red-Berried Elder, Poplar, Siberian Dwarf Pine, Japanese Yew, Maple Trees, Oak Trees and Rowan trees can be found. Forest floors are generally covered in wild raspberries, cranberries, red whotleberry and vines.

Wildlife on Sakhalin includes sables, reindeer, bears, otters, marten, squirrels, musk deer, wolverines and Northern deer. Rare birds are seen on the island such as Spotted Greenshank (Tringa guttifer), Steller Sea Eagle, Blackston’s Fish Owl and the White Tailed Sea Eagle. Off the coast visitors will be able to see seals, Gray Whales, sea lions, dolphins and walruses. Many come to Sakhalin Island on fishing trips, hoping to catch some perch, Salmon trout, flat fish, East Siberian Salmon or Silver Salmon. A visit to the natural marine park of Moneron Island is also recommended. Explore the island by hiking through the forests or river rafting.

Sakhalin Island is a magical destination to explore, with natural wonders to marvel at and a modernised town to relax in. Bars, shops and cafés are filled with friendly locals of mixed culture and race. It is the perfect location to relax, discover and enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of island life.


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