The Disaster Tourist – Yun Ko-eun


Simple dinner tonight of a salmon, mushroom, spinach miso soup over rice. Also, some kimchi on the side because I love kimchi! 

It’s probably just me growing old but I often crave simple meals like this soup and rice these days. Although in THE DISASTER TOURIST, they mentioned samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) a couple of times and that made my mouth water…😅 

This book isn’t about food of course. It’s about a woman who works in a disaster tourism agency. She surveys disaster areas, turns them into travel destinations. She’s told to go to an area where the tour isn’t doing so well, a remote island with a sinkhole that’s not living up to people’s expectations of a disaster area. 

And turns out that’s because it’s not exactly a disaster area anymore. 

“According to the rules, it’s only possible for you to quit in the middle of a business trip if you die.”

A quick read, although not exactly the thriller the blurb makes it out to be. 

This book takes off in unexpected ways. It touches on capitalism, the dark side of tourism. Towards the end, it veered off toward the surreal. 

Strangely entertaining and thoughtful. 


    1. I’ve not ever been a disaster tourist but once in my previous job as a newspaper journalist, I got to go to Bandah Aceh. The tsunami had devastated the town and it was still recovering several months after. I still remember watching the scene from the airplane. How you could see the houses that were leveled by the tsunami and the houses that miraculously still stood standing. I’m not saying that I was changed by seeing that but that it was something I have never forgotten. The destruction of the town. The people and their smiles even though we were just media on a visit to this housing project that had opened to give some of them a home. So maybe disaster tourism does give a privilege person insight into the lives of others?


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