I just finished "India: a Traveler's Literary Companion." It's very good! I mean, I like it a lot. A dozen or so short stories, arranged by geography. They all sound very different. I get a little feeling of being there. Same with Stones into Schools. Really amazing stories. (okay, this is different; it's not fiction.)
The same was true with a movie I watched recently called The Fall. It was a little different: it wasn't actually about these faraway places; it just happened to be filmed there.
But instead of reading about the ho-hum day-to-day of current hotels, restaurants, and sights to see in a guidebook, I'll try to guide myself by crazy places I've seen in fantastic movies and lush descriptions in books. Worth a shot, anyway.