Sad to say that Saturday night/Sunday am, a friend of ours hired a guy on motorbike waiting outside of O'Brien's Pub to take him home in District 1. He made the mistake of #1 having too much beer to begin with, this impairing his thinking and #2 showing the driver directions to his apartment building on his iPhone. Our friend also had his wallet in the zippered pocket on the leg of his shorts. Apparently, the driver first looked at the phone, and then took our friend to one location that 'seemed wrong.' He stopped and asked to see the phone two or three times, getting seemingly farther and farther away from people. The last time he asked to see the phone, the driver grabbed it and sped away. Our friend foolishly tried to grab the back of the scooter and ended up with a bit of road rash when he hit the pavement.
Morals of the story are several...in any city, we are much more likely targets when coming out of a bar late at night and look inebriated. Having an iPhone and flashing it around in a country where the per capita income is approx. 2500usd year, is asking to be robbed. Our friend not only lost his phone, but realized when he picked himself up that the driver had also picked his pocket and he had no wallet, money, CC, etc. He had no idea where he was, no one was on the street until another guy on a scooter happened by and asked him if he wanted a ride. Our friend said he had no money and gestured that he'd been robbed, showed him the road rash. Driver took our friend home anyway.
On the flight from Hong Kong to HCMC, I chatted with some women from HCMC who were coming home for a wedding. They all told me about watching my phone, purse and jewelry, and best to not bring anything valuable. I thought they were exaggerating a bit, but this experience with our friend makes me think perhaps not, especially if you're doing the bar scene.