Astana Amazes

As part of our on-going Notes on the Road series, we present a photographic essay on Astana, Kazakhstan’s surreal capital city. Our Director of Photography has been here before but on this trip nearly didn’t recognize this fast evolving city on the Central Asian Steppe.

“Since I was last here in 2006 the face of Astana has changed….completely. Whole boulevards of high rise buildings….fuelled by a massive hydro carbon boom have changed the skyline of Central Asia’s newest metropolis.

Just how well Kazakhstan uses its new found wealth remains to be seen. Successful Asian economies have been characterised by strong central government where transparency and democracy, at least in the initial phases of development, tend to take second place behind economic growth and at least an appearance of social harmony. Just like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and China, Kazakhstan will be making the choices that will shape her destiny in the decades to come. For better or worse this is the model that Asia has decided is the way forward.”