HUMBLE ABODES An Englishman’s is his castle. In Spanish, mine is yours.Elvis’ is down at the end of Lonely Street. Chris Isaak’s is blue. Soviet style apartment blocks are a modern feature of Ulan Batur, Mongolia.Middle Eastern and Islamic homes are often part of a multi-dwelling structure, guarded by a common door, leading to a courtyard. Many such houses lie unloved in Ibra, Oman.If doors could talk, what would we learn about this old house, abandoned in Al Hamra, central Oman?Al Hamra, a short way from the central city of Nizwa is a collection of multi-storey mud houses, built centuries ago, and largely abandoned.A two-storey cave house complete with windows, built into the hillside in Kandovan, in Iran's Kurdish west.A humble house with very lovely views in the far west of Zambia.In Uzbekistan's east, the Nuratau mountains areas is an excellent place to visit traditional villages and farms, supported by green valleys of orchards.A hotel of rather questionable design and decoration in northern Thailand. Don't worry, once inside, it was actually a lot worse.A traditional wooden house, with shuttered windows and verandah in Phrae, northern Thailand.A rare find in Chiang Mai city, a classic wooden house, complete with bird cages on the verandah.An old hotel on the edge of the medina in Meknes, Morocco.Probbaly the cheapest castle you can stay in anywhere in the world. The Youth Hostel in Namibia's Swakopmund is a pastel colonial eye-catcher, but for a few dollars, you can camp there.This gorgeous old family home in not-so-gorgeous Tagbilaran, Philippines, has been converted to Oasis Balili Heritage Lodge. It is still owned and run by the policially connected original owners.Again, on Bohol, near Lobok, a perfectly located house by the fields.On a pretty river, in a pretty town (Lobok) on a very pretty island (Bohol, Philippines) this riverside guesthouse was just what the doctor ordered.Casa Gorordo (1850) is a gorgeous example Cebuano architecture, blending Chinese and Spanish elements with local Filipino design. Now a museum, the "balay nga tisay" (tiled roof house) was home to the influential Gorordo family for over 100 years.Magnificently located houses, in Batad, Luzon, Philippines, where around 900 people live along side 2,000 year old rice terraces.The steep slopes in Burma's Mindat town make for building challenges, although it's unlikely a neighbour will block your view.A simple wooden house on stilts sits among the palm trees in Mrauk U, Burma, where the Arakan kings once reigned.The Victoria Hotel, Beltana, South Australia, once owned by Samuel Gason, a police officer and anthropologist in the Flinders Ranges and Strezlecki area of Australia.Squatter family's home on the edge of provincial Pailin, Cambodia.In 1990s Phnom Penh, squatter settlements were all over town, even on the river. These are actually relatively substantial.A simple, modest, farmer's home in Sieam Reap, Cambodia, elevated for flooding, cooling and for keeping animals.Charming old stone houses with slate roofs in the old stone village of Megalo Papingo, Greece.Steep hills of the old town of Berat, Albania, are stepped wth gorgeous white-washed Ottoman family homes, with many wooden window shutters.A bus or two from the hip young Kosovo capital of Pristina, Janjevo is an old world mountain town with many traditional family homes, that look like and doubled as forts.Pristina's small ethnographic museum is in one of the city's oldest family homes.As well as traditional furnishings, it shows the clever ways people dealt with the harsh extremes of hot and cold.Krusevo in the middle of Macedonia is an old mountain town, full of fine old family homes.The town's southern Vlashko Maalo district has the greatest examples of this distinct local flavour.Truly weird hotel. in northern Thailand, approaching Chiang Mai. Gorillas, dinosaurs, native American statues, and room made out like wagons.Lovely old, wooden guesthouse stretching out to the lake in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand.Houseboats on the lake in Sangkhlaburi, in Thailand's west.Among the stranger hotels I have used, this one not only had dinosaurs, gorillas, giant mushrooms, live music the rooms were free-standing wagons. Near Chiang Mai, Thailand.Cherrapunji is a charming small town in India's Meghalaya state, where old style cottages like this are the norm.As India's political system changed, royalty and aristocracy struggled to maintain itself. A minor princess lives on in this grand house in Hyderabad.Traditional wooden houses are still common features of Khonoma village, a short ride from Nagaland capital, Kohima, India.Thatched houses remain the most common type in Longwa, the ethnic Konyak village in Nagaland that straddles the India-Burma border.In India's Assam state, Majuli is an island of cottage industries and strong traditions. Houses like this (actually a guesthouse) are everywhere.Showing a few signs of age, a hotel in the northern Indian state of Meghalaya.