Everyone knows Greenland is a Danish possession, and I knew that in 1917 we purchased the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark, but I did not know that the Danes once had colonies in India and West Africa.
I have a calendar of old maps on my wall, and November's map is an 1897 map of the world that colors territories around the world according to their colonial power. It's pretty stunning to see how few independent countries there were outside of Europe and the Americas at the time. Liberia and Ethiopia were, at the time, the only independent states in Africa.Colonization of India is usually thought of as a British thing, but the Portuguese were first, and France, the Netherlands, and Denmark all had their outposts in South Asia.
China as a whole maintained its independence, but many different foreign countries controlled cities along the coast and had influence that stretched into the interior. Hong Kong and Macao only reverted to Chinese control in the previous decade, but earlier in the twentieth century no fewer than ten colonial powers controlled no fewer than 20 enclaves in China. It would be interesting to visit some of these places to see how much evidence remains of the former colonizer.
BONUS: The smallest country to colonize the Americas was the Duchy of Courland, a vassal state of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in present-day Latvia. The colony was on the island of Tobago but only lasted a few decades in the 17th century before being abandoned.
BONUS #2: If you're a Belgiophile and would like to visit a former Belgian colony without going to Central Africa, you can take a cruise ship to Santo Tomás de Castilla on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, a short-lived Belgian concession zone.