"Black Market on the Bridge" Top 5 Page for this destination Guilin Off The Beaten Path Tip by herzog63

Guilin Off The Beaten Path: 19 reviews and 17 photos

  Black Market area
by herzog63

In 1987 the Black Market for exchanging US$'s And FEC's was alive and well in Guilin. I'm not sure if this is still goes on or not but it was a tip that all China travelers from that era needed to learn in order to save money. Here is the reason that I had heard of why the locals wanted the FEC's and US$. For the FEC's which were the Foreign Exchange Certificates. They needed these inorder to purchase luxury items such as TV's, Washing Machines, and other big household items from the Friendship store. As the Friendship store didn't accept the local currency. Seemed weird to me but I was able get 30% more for my FEC's by exchanging them on the Black Market for Renmimbi. Officicially at the time foreigners were supposed to pay for all lodging and bus/train tickets but it wasn't enforced.
This bridge was the spot where all of the Black Marketers hung out and they would sort of approach you and ask under their breath if you wanted to change money....I'd ask the rate and compare to make sure I was getting the best rate that I could. In the evening the area around this bridge would transform into an open air market.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 6, 2003
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