Color Run Fun

CR-UpHighAfter a month and a half of not getting personal, I thought it time to bring it back to what’s going on in the ground here in Saigon. As soon as the month of April rolled around, the Saigon heat that everyone was cautioning me about came into the city full-force. I’ve honestly never been so hot in my life and this is coming from a girl who went to hot yoga not for the health benefits… nope, I’m the one parked next to the humidifier treating the exercise class like its my personal sauna. But ever since the hellfire hot season came rollin’ in, all I want to do is to crawl into my refrigerator and die. But with the climate change came all these fun things to do which pushed me to get out of the house and be social.


Socializing. I never recognized how vital being social was to my well-being until moving to Saigon. Being around people and having hobbies has lifted my spirits immensely. And here in Saigon, its quite affordable to go out, eat well, and discover new things. You can check out some out how happening the Saigon scene is for women over here.


In April, the high point of the month was doing my first 5K “run” (note: it was the slowest “running” I’ve ever done) with Tim. We were brought into the fold by a crew of fantastic people, making this our first proper hangout with friends in HCMC. It’s been hard to maintain friendships here just because our job operates on the opposite schedule as everyone else’s — weekends and night shifts, ugh — but luckily, the run happened to be on a public holiday so we got the day off! I’ve been dying to go to one of these color runs since they’re super popular in the US but I’ve never had the chance to plus they’re kinda expensive. Here, a ticket only cost $25 for a high-quality runner’s shirt, a fanny pack, and a sizeable amount of colored powder. Plus they gave out free waters all throughout the course so no need to buy anything else. Right now, after my rant on how hot its been, you’re probably thinking why the hell did I think it was a good idea to do a 5K?! Continuing our lucky streak, the day turned out to be abnormally cool so everything was working in our favor.

Despite the madness of it all, it had this very serene ambiance. They held the color run in a secluded area of Ho Chi Minh, and at dusk, everything and everyone was basking in the light of a setting sun. It was nice to see a side of Saigon I hadn’t seen before. At the start, Tim gave me a neck ride which he then offered to everyone around him. Girls (and guys) were lining up to get a bird’s eye view of the crowd because Tim is is so damn tall. We ran into our Hungarian neighbors, Nora and Aron, and we let a Vietnamese girl named Chau tag along. She had come to the event by herself (what a badass!) It was an eclectic bunch but I think that’s what made the day so damn fun.  At every 1K mark, a “color” station” was set-up blasting much better music than they play at the clubs here so they’d became our dancing pit stops. The stations were also a powder fill-up spot, pumping out clouds of florescent colors. Thankfully the stuff is non-toxic but I’m pretty sure the inside of my lungs were a swirl of neon colors because I was just constantly inhaling powder. I was pretty sad that it ended but there was street food at the finish line so I couldn’t complain. They also served up a sick free concert but we opted to get a group meal after the event. It was probably the most fun I’ve had so far in Saigon! We’re definitely going to do it again next year!

The video above is the first feature of my new series, The #WHERETONEXT Diaries in Saigon. Learn more about the event through the video’s tidbits and see us in action at HCMS’ Color Me Run 2016!

For any expats/long-term travelers, have you had a favorite social outing abroad? Share below! With love, Izzy

Millette Pulido is a Bay Area-based, Boston-bred Filipina who loves to vagabond. At 29, the former expat has traded in her nomadic ways for a semi-grounded life in San Jose, CA. These days, she's focusing on balancing travel with a full-time job, all while planning her 2019 destination wedding in Oaxaca, Mexico. She lives for good times, good food, and good peeps. Find out her #wheretonext on Instagram @thenextsomewhere.


  1. They had one of these in Bangkok too recently. In fact we have a lot of theme runs come to think of it. I don’t think I would join a color run though since I would feel so sticky and disgusting from all that powder.

    I wouldn’t a songkran run though where they douse you with cold water! Have you ever experienced that?

    • Yea, I won’t lie, the powder was a mess! That blue powder was especially stubborn and I had such a hard time getting it out of my hair. I still think my boyfriend is getting some out of his ears a month and a half later. I actually lived in Thailand for a year and got to experience Songkran at its best! Would be such a fun run getting doused with icy cold water but you might catch pneumonia with the temperature clash 😛

  2. Kerri

    19 May

    Firstly, love your website Izzy. It’s gorgeous. We do the colour run every year where I live in Australia too. It’s a huge amount of fun and the colours that everyone ends up with is awesome! I also loved your insight into how you needed to get out and be more social in Saigon after you arrived. I’m sure this has made life much more fun and friendly for you.

  3. What a fun! I am from Central Eu Country and we dont have this kind of colour runs ! The closest to this mess I have been was this New Years glitter party on Zanzibar, Couldn’t get rid of that glitter for another week:)

  4. Voyager

    19 May

    What a fun run, this one, the colours remind me of the Indian festival of Colours, Holi. In fact when I first looked at the pictures, I thought that this was a similar festival, but as I read further realized that this actually a run with a novel concept.

  5. Aren’t color runs the best?! I’ve only done one once when I first arrived to Seoul with Scott! It was so fun and there was barely any running because we kept stopping and playing in all the colors! OMG I can’t imagine running in the heat in Vietnam! It’s just starting to get warm here, but we run in our gym and they have it heated like a jimjilbang lately- I can barely breathe in the heat. I guess I need to start getting up early and running outside! We did the half marathon in Cambodia 2 years ago that that was tough in that humidity too! Good luck with the heat girl!

  6. Sarah

    19 May

    That’s great that the warmth pushed you be more social. That’s happening to me right now. This week so far I’ve gone to a Yelp Elite event, filmed a video blog with a food writer, and am going to a Google Local Guides event tonight! Meeting lots of fellow foodies 🙂

  7. Cassie

    19 May

    Ahh aren’t these just great!! I did one of these in London last year, and it was so much fun!! But that powder was such a nightmare to get off!! We’ve got loads of these sorts of runs here, so I think I’ll aim for a little less messy next time 🙂

  8. I’ve always wanted to do a color-run but I don’t think its an activity to do solo. I don’t have many friends since I moved to the suburbs and I’m happy that you are able to be social more with the hotter weather. Enjoy it!

  9. Izzy, it isn’t possible that there is a cuter travel blogger out there! I understand that Vietnamese heat. I like the heat too, but it was unrelenting! I’m glad you’ve been able to be more social because you’re such an amazing soul and someone whose light & energy brings everyone up – I hope others can be that for you too! You’re constantly an inspiration and thanks making a 5k look like something I’d actually like to do. Haha

  10. I totally know what you mean about your lungs feeling crappy after this exciting and colorful event. I went to my first Holy Hai festival in Busan this year and was still washing things out of my years a few days after. Good for you for doing active things on your day off, especially in the heat… you’re a fighter!

  11. I’m terrified to run a race like that. I can’t believe you ran it in the heat of Saigon (even on an abnormally cool day…lucky, I guess?). Well done for kicking butt! In that kind of heat I’d just be a beached whale LOL

  12. Hanani

    21 May

    Ooooo I love colour run!!! It is so much fun. I’ve only done it once in Malaysia before I moved to SoKo.I’m still trying to find a website that lists all runs available here though. Have you done Night Run before?
    Love HCMC especially the food but not so much the traffic …

  13. Gina

    22 May

    I love all of your adventures in Vietnam! The photos from the color run look incredible! I especially love the photo of you in the pink color. You look so happy! Socializing will always be a vital piece of well-being and the positive people you surround yourself with are just as important! I may be planning a trip to Vietnam soon! (I’m falling in love with it because of all your amazing posts! If I get there, you’ll be the first I meet up with!)

  14. Wendy

    22 May

    That’s a lot of fun you’ve got in there. Everyone looks they’re having the time of their life. I love your pink lying down photo! Enjoy Saigon!

  15. Oh my goodness! How FUN! I’ve seen Colour Runs advertised, but have yet to do one myself. Looks like a great way to make exercise fun! x

  16. This looks like so much fun! My friend did the run in Seoul last year and LOVED it. Good luck with surviving the heat! I know Korea’s starting to get humid *runs to hide under my aircon*

  17. Looks like so much fun! I don’t understand how people WORK OUT in this type of heat! When we were in Bangkok I was so impressed with the locals and expats alike who were legit running 9-10 kilometers in the sweltering humidity. You guys still manage to look lovely even though you were so sweaty. Kudos. <3

  18. I’m never disappointed by your posts, Izzy! The Color Run looked like a blast! And I’m ecstatic you started a video series. I’m definitely looking forward to what your new series brings to your blog. Your post has me reflecting on the Holi Hai Festival I attended here in Busan, SK 2 months ago. Everyone was throwing the vibrant paints around and the energy was so positive and lively. If you haven’t celebrated Holi Hai, I completely recommend you do! Great post, Izzy! Can’t wait to read your next one!

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