Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea

Shelly- Journey of a Jungle Girl, Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea ~The beginning of my Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea has gone well! I have been on many adventures in my life, but this adventure is to help me discover what I should do with the rest of my life!

I have lived in Israel for the last 3 years of medical school.

I am currently taking a year leave of absence and will be shadowing Dr. Alkan  (an outstanding teacher from Ben Gurion Medical School) -in a clinic in Vietnam.

Journey to Vietnam…

I have decided to take this year off because I have reached that point in my medical studies where I must choose which field of medicine to pursue.

I desire to work in a developing country and after being in the developed world so long, I feel the need to experience my roots once again in order to more thoughtfully decide exactly what I want to do with Medicine.

I will work with this doctor in Vietnam for a month and have plans to travel around Asia before working for 6 months in a hospital in Guatemala starting in January.

LINK:  Read more about my story – The Journey of a Jungle Girl!

Summer 2011

On my summer ‘break’ I spent every day studying for a huge exam known as the USMLE step 2 (every Med student takes this).
During that time I did 2 triathlons with my dad.
Now, after staying up all night packing for my next year as a ‘backpacker’, I am finally on my way to Vietnam.

Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea

…My layover in South Korea

I was delighted to find that my flight is going through Seoul, South Korea and I chose a ticket that gives me a 13-hour layover there.

August 4th, 4:00pm, I arrive to the fancy Incheon International airport outside of Seoul-it is rated #3 out of the top 10 World’s Best Airports… and has beautiful gardens and architecture.

…and I catch the hour-long train into the city.

The train ride is gorgeous!

We pass over giant rivers and carve through mountain. I never knew South Korea was so green and lush.

Arrival at my destination finds me lost in a maze of tunnels and people. It seems the city has an underground world of its own.

Finally, I find my way out and make it to my hostel where I check in, organize my things and sit on the bed – just for a moment, before I go out and see the town…

I wake up to voices, the room is dark. I look at my watch – 1:00am! – “What! I wanted to see the town.”

And then I fall asleep again…

I wake up at 4am -unable to sleep anymore, I walk around the town for a few minutes before I have to catch the train back to the airport for my early flight to Vietnam.

So much for seeing South Korea! ];

Here is a very long and detailed look at the train ride from the Incheon International airport to Seoul… There is a lot of detail that would be helpful if you are planning a trip to Seoul…

Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea RELATED LINKS:

Return to Home from Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea

Read Other Adventures from Journey of a Jungle Girl

Leave Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea to read Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam

Thanks for reading my Journey to Vietnam with a Layover in South Korea story!

Comments

  1. Wow! Shelly, your story takes off like a bullet and gives an exciting, adventure filled synopsis of that wild, crazy, yet amazingly focused jungle girl!

    Yes, this will be a great year of growing and seeing what your future steps and goals should be.

    You are loved! Dad

  2. Hello! Ive been following your journey for a while now and wanted to give you a shout out from Texas! Your story is so interesting… It’s fun to hear the stories and see your photos! Blessings!

  3. I would really like to hear more about the medical school in Israel -Is it an international medical school? I have looked at Ross Medical school and other international options. Thank you.

    • I am going to the Medical School for International Health in Israel – and love it!! It was a perfect fit for me because one it is not in the US (: but still a good program and two it is entirely focused on international health which is what I will be doing. Although the school have a good reputation we are still foreign grad, which makes us have to work extra hard to get into competitive specialties but otherwise there is no problem.

      I loved living in Israel also – bit rough at times but there are many Jewish holidays and cheap ticket to almost anywhere! (:

  4. Great site. You’ve done a lot in a short amount of time. One day I would like to do a triathlon… was it tough to do 2 in 1 summer?
    How was your USMLE step 2? do you just have 1 year of medical school left? will you go back to Israel to finish it? I am interested in your medical school journey and the process you have gone through… what do you recommend to someone interested in med school? What school are you going to? Thanks -Alex

    • Triathalons aren’t that hard if you already do marathon type training, running, biking or swimming. Often people are stronger in 1 or 2 of the areas and have to train harder in the other area to prepare. But it’s all about endurance and pacing yourself.

      Our 2 tris were the Chisago half tri in Chisago, Mn and the 1/3 tri in Waseca, Mn (mile swim, 35 mile bike and 8 mile run). Doing 2 tris worked out fine for us because we had about a month in between.

      The best thing about it for me was doing it with my daughter who tends to be a natural athlete when it comes to running and swimming. She can way outpace me!

    • Hello Alex,

      Sorry for the late reply – I am on the move right now with minimal internet.

      Triathlons are a lot of fun! I love swimming and running so it was not too bad! You should definitely do one sometime – they really are fun!

      I am going to the Medical School for International Health in Israel – and love it!! It was a perfect fit for me because one it is not in the US (: but still a good program and two it is entirely focused on international health which is what I will be doing. Although the school have a good reputation we are still foreign grad, which makes us have to work extra hard to get into competitive specialties but otherwise there is no problem.

      K I need to go but if you have more questions please ask!

      Shelly

      Only go into medicine if you truly enjoy it – it is a lot of work!!!

  5. Great stories of all your adventures! I’ve totally done that before… fallen asleep when I really wanted to be out exploring! That’s what jet lag will do to you! I’ll be interested in hearing more of the rest of your journey! Take care, Angela

    • Thanks Angela,

      Yeah! Traveling you just want to see everything your body and mind and adrenaline all go on overload and sometime your body just refuses and craps out! (: Where have you travelled?

  6. Sandy Kakaviatos says:

    Was it easy to take the train from the airport to Seoul? Where did you stay in Seoul? Was it a good hostel + would you recommend it? I’d like to see photos of your time in Seoul… thanks!

    • Hello Sandy,

      The train was very easy from the airport – a bit confusing in town because there are SO MANY entrances/exits it really is a maze! But my number one back up is always have the name of the location you are trying to find written down somewhere (especially in the language spoken) and ask everyone and anyone – works every time!!

      Oh man! No I do not remember the name of the place I stayed – shoot, that would have been good to write down! If I remember I will let you know. When are you going? How exciting! Oh and sorry I really missed out on Seoul big time so I did not take any photos! ]; Sorry not much help!

      Shelly

  7. any tips for packing as a backpacker? it sounds like you have done this a few times? I’m getting ready for my own adventures! Cheers!

    • Hey Maggie,

      Wow! tips on packing…yeah loads! When you heading out? and where? I do not have a lot of time or internet access right now because am on the move and in Laos. If you are not going right away can I get back to you on this? Maybe I will try to make a new post with this information. How exciting – I really what to hear about your trip!!

      Shelly

  8. Claire Jiang says:

    Great site and fun adventures! Can’t believe you did 2 triathlons in a summer AND studied for your Med school Step 2 test. That’s craziness. Have fun in SE Asia -there’s so much to see!

  9. that’s a cool video of the top 10 airports. I’m curious how many you have personally been to and seen?
    I have been to 3 of those -hong kong, munich, signapore. (I’m sure you have me beat!)

    I think it’s interesting how many of the airports are so art-y, -including china’s airport -I hope to see that one someday.

  10. Aww! Thank you so much!! I really appreciate your support!!

  11. Do you wish you would have had more time in South Korea?
    I’m trying to decide which Asian countries to visit. On my list: Thailand, China, Hong Kong, -really want to get to Vietnam -is it easy to travel through Cambodia and Laos?
    Did you go to Myanmar?
    Is it also possible to go overland to India?
    How long do you think I would need to travel all over? is 1 month good?
    is it pretty inexpensive and reasonable traveling around?
    thanks!

  12. I would really like to hear more about how you chose Ben Gurion -would you consider writing a post about that process and what it is like? I’m trying to decide which medical schools to apply to. -carrie ps. really enjoying your travel stories! I wish I were traveling! 🙂

  13. Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking! Fantastic blog and terrific design.

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