Planning your summer vacation? Why not go somewhere you’ve never been, or better yet, somewhere you’ve never even heard of?

Despite our increasing globalization, there are many places, cities, and countries that most of us don’t know. Here’s ten countries that might make you wonder how big the world really is:


1. Brunei

Photo: Bernard Spragg. NZ / Flickr
Photo: Bernard Spragg. NZ / Flickr

Brunei is tiny sovereign state in the South China Sea, surrounded by Malaysia and Indonesia. One of the country’s incredible landmarks is the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, constructed of marble, crystal, and gold from around the world.


2. Andorra

Photo: Miquel Fabre / Flickr
Photo: Miquel Fabre / Flickr

A tiny state settled between France and Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains, Andorra has incredible scenery and historic castles dating back to the country’s feudal monarchy of the 16th century.


3. Ascension

Photo: Drew Avery / Flickr
Photo: Drew Avery / Flickr

Ascension is an isolated island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Though it is difficult for tourists to travel to the country, the coral reefs, beaches that house hundreds of Green Sea Turtles, and lava caves make the island completely unique.


4. Kyrgyzstan

Photo: Dmitry Karyshev / Flickr
Photo: Dmitry Karyshev / Flickr

Located in Central Asia between China and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan is one of the most ethnically diverse populations on the continent. The mountainous landscape holds vestiges of the Silk Road and beautiful alpine lakes.


5. Palau

Photo: LuxTonnerre / Flickr
Photo: LuxTonnerre / Flickr

A group of islands southeast of the Philippines, Palau is famed for its scuba-diving and Jellyfish Lakes. Along with the jellyfish, bull sharks, saltwater crocodiles, and Napoleon fish live in the lagoons surrounding the islands.


6. South Ossetia

Photo: Marco Fieber / Flickr
Photo: Marco Fieber / Flickr

South Ossetia is a tiny state located in the South Caucasus, bordering Russia and Georgia. The country features beautiful mountain ranges, but has long been a site of political and cultural tension.


7. Futuna

Photo: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr
Photo: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr

Futuna is a small volcanic island in the south Pacific, where cultural practices and ceremonies have changed little throughout the centuries. The island is inhabited by 5000 people, 0.06% the population of New York City.


8. Liechtenstein

Photo: Bernd Thaller / Flickr
Photo: Bernd Thaller / Flickr

A small state located between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world. Having both medieval castles and museums with 20th and 21st century art, the principality prides itself on being both traditional and modern.


9. Kiribati

Photo: OggiScienza / Flickr
Photo: OggiScienza / Flickr

The Republic of Kiribati is a group of scattered islands, 33 total, in the Pacific Ocean. Each island is actually the tip of an undersea volcano, so each landmass protrudes only a few feet above sea level.


10. Nauru

Photo: Sean Kelleher / Flickr
Photo: Sean Kelleher / Flickr

A tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, Nauru is the least visited country in the world. The country does not have an official capital, and the entire island covers only 21 square kilometers. The island functions mainly as a phosphate mine, but the coral reefs that surround it make it a great place for fishing and diving.