Astana is one of the controversial "brand new" capitals built on an enormous scale - similar to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan or Baku in Azerbaijan. Kazakhstan's capital defies all the presumptions and stereotypes a person from the West might have - especially those set in place after the famous comedy film "Borat" (as a matter of fact, "Borat" was not even filmed in Kazakhstan). Astana couldn't be more different from what you probably imagine Kazakhstan to be like. You won't find carts pulled by cows along muddy streets nor any wooden shacks that are deteriorating and falling apart. Walking through the large main boulevard, you might think you're in one of Dubai's luxurious neighborhoods rather than in some country in the middle of nowhere that no one is interested about.