Until 9.20pm on November 26, Robert Chiu was an ordinary Hongkonger. A relatively high-powered and privileged one - given his position as the chief executive for the Asia-Pacific region for EFG Bank - but a man whose day-to-day role should not involve avoiding death at the hands of a group of trained mass murderers. Now he is the survivor of a terrorist attack. Mr Chiu survived the reign of terror in India's financial heart, which saw more than 170 killed and the city held hostage for 60 hours by extremists as the world watched in horror. At 8pm on the night the attacks started, Mr Chiu sat down to a banquet with seven others at Mumbai's Golden Dragon restaurant, perhaps India's best Chinese restaurant, in the city's most famous hotel - the Taj Mahal Palace. The first gunshots after 9pm passed only with the comments that there must have been an accident somewhere in the kitchen. 'But then there were more and we just went down on the floor and underneath the table,' Mr Chiu said. 'There was more gunfire and more commotion, including some screaming. About half an hour later some staff came in and guided us through the kitchen of the restaurant and onto the second floor. On the floor of the kitchen we saw a body covered in blood, who looked like a chef.' They were taken to The Chambers, a bar next to the Japanese restaurant Wasabi. Over the next two hours, Mr Chiu estimates that up to 400 people piled into the area, but they remained in a 'pretty relaxed state' as television reports said the terrorists had headed straight through the new wing of the hotel and into the old. The television signal was cut at 11pm and, around midnight, a plan was formed to slowly guide the guests out of the hotel. But after two-thirds of the first group had left, there were gunshots and screaming. Many of those who had left the room rushed back in, screaming. Someone had been shot. 'People started diving under sofas and chairs. It was pandemonium. The lights were turned off and the door closed,' Mr Chiu said. 'That was when the sense of danger occurred to us.' Mr Chiu found himself in the awkward position of having his head resting on somebody's high heel and his leg on another leather shoe. By this time, he had told his family he was in a safe place and not to worry. His chief executive had called him, and was also told he was safe. But outside, there was sporadic gunfire, some from the Japanese restaurant next door. It was then that Mr Chiu ran through scenarios - the 'what-ifs', despite what he had told his family. What if he was tied up and held as a hostage? What if he was forced to beg for his life? Others obviously felt the same way - he could sense the continuous typing of SMS messages on phones, and people quietly receiving replies. At 3am, as gunfire raged next door, a woman received a phone call and started crying. She wouldn't stop despite others urging her to be quiet. At about 8.20am - more than 12 hours after Mr Chiu had arrived at the hotel - a couple of men came to the door of the room in uniform with a couple of staff members. 'As soon as we went outside, we saw lots of blood on the floor, bullet holes in the wall and smashed glass,' Mr Chiu said. 'Through the back door and on the stairs there was a pool of blood and the cap of a commando. There were police everywhere.' Mr Chiu had been staying at the Oberoi Hotel, so he couldn't go back and pick up his clothes or passport. A local friend took him to his club to freshen up and charge his Blackberry. He then called family, friends and colleagues and let them know a bit more about what had happed the night before. The next step was a visit to the Chinese embassy, where 'extremely efficient and helpful staff' issued him with an emergency passport within half an hour. At the airport, he was taken away by immigration to explain why he didn't have proper documents. In the same room was a Frenchman, a Swiss and an Israeli. They all shared the same experience: they had been staying in the Oberoi and had gone to dinner at the Taj; all had been fortunate enough to escape. He arrived in Hong Kong at noon on November 28 and by 4pm he was in his office. 'The staff had organised a welcome home party, so I felt the right thing to do was come into the office,' he said. 'Everyone wanted to know the details.' Mr Chiu said there had been no noticeable changes in his character since the experience. 'My adult daughter is more affected than me,' he said. 'She has been imagining what it would be like.' He has traced many of the events that took place around him through the newspapers and on television. 'I watched September 11 and the Bali bombings on television, but to be there was an amazing experience,' he said. 'But it's not something I ever want to experience again.'