Sakhalin is a large and very sparsely populated island which was the center of a long power struggle between Russia/USSR and Japan for control of its large oil and gas natural resources. Sakhalin is beautiful, but has an undeveloped tourist sector. Its largest city is Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
The Lake Tunaycharegion is only a short distance south east of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. This string of shallow lakes, including the islands largest fresh water lake, runs along Sakhalin's western coast line, and is a favorite with bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The island of Moneron off Sakhalin's southwestern coast is popular for divers, snorkelers, and bird watchers. The scenery is just beautiful with dramatic rock formations, waterfalls, rocky canyons and alpine meadows. The island has numerous bird colonies and is also a breeding ground for sea lions.
Sakhalin is connected by regular flights to Moscow, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, and other cities of Russia. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport has regularly scheduled international flights to Hakodate, Japan and Seoul and Busan, Korea. There are also charter flights to the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Niigata, and Sapporo and the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Dalian, and Harbin.