China / Society

Foreigners cautious in Kunming

By Hu Yongqi ( Updated: 2014-03-02 16:06

Kunming has for many years been a favored destination for foreign travelers, and it has a bubbling expat community. Foreigners in Kunming were shocked by the attack, especially those who witnessed it.

At around 9:30 pm on Saturday evening, Tobias Schindler, 23, and two of his friends, all from Germany, were going to enter Kunming railway station. Suddenly they saw many people screaming and running out of the station.

"We wanted to take the train at 11pm to Dali. We walked to the train station and we saw one guy [who was] really bloody. [Then] everybody just started running, running, running. We just followed them." He said.

"Some of them went to small shops and we followed them. Then they locked everything and turned lights on. We went to a dark corner where nobody could see us. And then we came out, trying to figure out what was going on."

The three stayed on for a while and saw large groups of policemen arriving. They went back to the station on Sunday and took a train to Dali.

"China has been a safe place, based on my understanding. The attack was a big surprise, but fortunately we are safe now," said Schindler.

Perry Wiggins, from the US state of New Jersey, is an English teacher at Yunnan Agricultural University in Kunming. He said the attack was a shock.

"My father sent me a message this morning to remind me of being alert when going out of the campus," said Wiggins, who arrived in Kunming seven months ago.

"Sometimes, I walk 10 to 15 minutes from the bus station to my apartment without any light. The passers-by say hello and smile to me and I really appreciate the friendliness from the strangers. But I will go back to my apartment earlier today and will suggest my friends o so, too," Wiggins said.

Tom, also from New Jersey, has been in Kunming for five years. He is an English teacher at Yunnan University of Finance and Economics.

He said he would stay home over the weekend for better safety, but added that the incident would not stop him from continuing his stay in the City of Spring, as Kunming is known.

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