Some of the world’s most uncommon places offer the greatest experiences for visitors. Many of these off-the-beaten-path locations allow people to try new adventures and learn about different sides of life. These five uncommon destinations are among the world’s best places for a vacation.

Mont Ste. Michele, France: People often envision the Eiffel Tower or wine country when they think of France, but this historical gem is also worth visiting. Mont Ste. Michele is situated on a tidal island that becomes completely surrounded by water during the high tide. When the tide isn’t in, visitors can access the location by foot to see the island’s historic structures including a gothic abbey that once held prisoners of war during the French Revolution.

Astana, Kazakhstan: Known for being one of the world’s most unusual capital cities, Astana has experienced dramatic growth since the days of the Soviet Union. The city’s futuristic skyline sharply contrasts the adjacent steppes that have been largely untouched by humans. Astana boasts a major shopping mall and concert hall along with an iconic 100-meter-tall tower known as the “Tree of Life.”

Riga, Latvia: This Latvian capital city features a variety of historic buildings, some of which have been standing for centuries. After being rebuilt in 1999, the 14th-century House of Blackheads has become one of the city’s top architectural masterpieces. Other sites that are worth visiting include the Freedom Monument, Riga Castle and Livonian Square.

Socotra Island, Yemen: Situated off the African mainland, Socotra Island is made up largely of landscapes and vegetation that look like they’ve come from another world. The dragon’s blood and bottle trees that are omnipresent throughout the island add even more unique splendor to the setting. Halah Cave and Dixam Canyon are other notable natural features that give the island its one-of-a-kind charm.

Dongchuan, China: This district in China is the location of Dongchuan Red Land, which is nestled within the Huashitou Village. Dongchuan Red Land gets its red and crimson coloring from the aluminum that’s found in the soil. Patches of green and white can also be seen, which creates a particularly stunning visual.

A visit to any of these locations is bound to produce many priceless memories. The unique appeal of these unusual places can make traveling much more worthwhile.