A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bangkok vs. Shanghai for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Bangkok or Shanghai?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Bangkok and Shanghai can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Bangkok

Bangkok: a name synonymous with all things exotic. The vibrant and exciting capital of Thailand is not just a hub for Southeast Asia, but also a destination into itself. Known for an active nightlife and party scene, as well as great food, historic temples, and busy markets, Bangkok offers a diversity to entertain even the most experienced travelers.

Shanghai

Shanghai is the largest and most modern city in China. With a population of over 23 million, it is the economic and financial hub of the country. It also continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in China with regular changes to the city's layout and skyline. It is not uncommon for buildings to be torn down, rebuilt and then torn down and rebuilt again. The city also has skyscrapers that rank among the tallest in the world. It has an ever changing downtown and street scape. In Shanghai, the general mantra remains "out with the old, in with the new".

Which city is cheaper, Shanghai or Bangkok?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bangkok is $65, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is $103. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Bangkok and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Bangkok is $70. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $146 for a double occupancy room in Shanghai.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bangkok $35
    Shanghai $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bangkok $70
    Shanghai $146

Food

The average traveler spends about $16 per day in Bangkok for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The average traveler spends about $19 per day in Shanghai for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Bangkok $16
    Shanghai $19
Typical Food prices in Bangkok

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Bangkok:


  • Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe (for Two)
    $28
  • Casual Lunch of Prawns (for Two)
    $6.12
  • 2 Rotis (Bread)
    $1.38
  • Mango & Sticky Rice
    $0.92
  • Lunch at KFC (for Two)
    $6.12
  • Pad Thai
    $2.14
  • Airport Lunch for 2
    $17
  • Lunch for 2
    $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bangkok

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bangkok.

  • Silom Village Authentic Thai Dinner and Performance Ticket: $17
  • Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $23
  • Tom Yum Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Baiyoke Observation Deck with Lunch/Dinner Buffet: $23
  • Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: $25
  • Siamese Cookery House Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok: $26
  • Luxurious Afternoon Tea or Dinner at the Erawan Tea Rooms: $26
  • Skip the Line: Baiyoke Sky Hotel Observation Deck Ticket with Lunch or Dinner: $26
  • InFusion Cooking Classes in Koh Samui: $26
  • Bangkok Thai Classical Dance with Thai Set Dinner Ticket: $27
  • Sompong Thai Cooking Class: $27
  • Galangal Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $28

Typical Food prices in Shanghai

Some typical examples of dining costs in Shanghai are as follows:


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.55
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $23
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $8.07
  • Cantelope
    $1.86
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.33
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.66
  • Pastries
    $3.26
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $9.93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Shanghai

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Shanghai.

  • Online Chinese Cooking Class: $22
  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Old Shanghai Breakfast Food Tour: $52
  • Cooking Class of Dumplings and Chinese Buns: $56
  • 3-Hour Shanghai Summer Night Local Dinner and Shopping Private Tour: $65
  • Private Chinese Cooking Class in Shanghai with Vegetarian Option: $69
  • Private Authentic Chinese Cooking Class in Shanghai with a Lovely Local: $70
  • 3-Hour Shanghai City Walking Tour with Dinner: $74
  • Shanghai yummy food tour: $75
  • Chinese Cooking Class in a Family Home: $75
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Bangkok is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.40 per person, per day, on local transportation in Bangkok.

The average price of local transportation around Shanghai is $3.48 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bangkok $4.40
    Shanghai $3.48
Typical Local Transportation prices in Bangkok

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Bangkok are as follows:


  • Tuk Tuk to bus station
    $2.45
  • Skytrain Ticket
    $4.89
  • Chao Phraya River Express Ticket
    $0.98
  • Ferry Ride
    $0.80
  • Taxi From Airport
    $7.64
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.75
  • Boat Taxi
    $1.53
  • Trains to airport
    $4.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bangkok

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bangkok:

  • Shared Airport Bus Transfer Phuket : $3.09
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Chiang Mai with Transfers: $5.59
  • Boat Transfer to Koh Samui from Bangkok & Southern Thailand: $9.87
  • Private Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) Transfers for Chiang Mai by TTD: $12
  • Bangkok Airport Departure – Shared Transfer: $12
  • Bangkok Airport Private Transfer (Suvarnabhumi Airport): $13
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport Departure Transfer (Shared or Pvt): $13
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport Arrival Transfer (Shared or Private): $13
  • Airport Transfer from Trang Airport to Hotels: $13
  • Bangkok To Pattaya Transfer Service: $14
  • Bangkok Airport Arrival – Shared Transfer: $15
  • Private Krabi (KBV) or Phuket Airport Transfers (HKT) for Krabi, Phuket, and More by TTD: $15

Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Shanghai:


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.03
  • Two Subway Tickets
    $0.93

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • 1 Day-Pass for Disneyland Shanghai and Transfer service Mini Group package: $146
  • 1-way Private Transfer From Shanghai Pudong Airport to Hangzhou: $123
  • 1-way Private Transfer From Shanghai Pudong Airport to Suzhou New District-SND: $117
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and Kunshan Per Vehicle Price: $74
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Jiaxing: $153
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Kunshan Per Vehicle Price: $95
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Yiwu Per Vehicle Price: $388
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai and Nanxun Water Town Per Vehicle Price: $164
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai and Wuzhen Water Town Per Vehicle Price: $159
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai and Zhouzhuang Water Town Per Vehicle Price: $93
  • 1-way Transfer between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Changshu Per Vehicle Price: $135
  • 1way Transfer from Shanghai Pudong Airport to Suzhou Downtown: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into Bangkok or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Bangkok change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Bangkok typically cost an average of $12 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Shanghai's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.58 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bangkok $12
    Shanghai $7.58
Typical Entertainment prices in Bangkok

Here are a few typical costs in Bangkok for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Movie Ticket
    $4.89
  • Grand Palace Entrance Ticket
    $11
  • Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) Ticket
    $1.53
  • Dusit Zoo Entrance Fee (for Two)
    $6.12
  • Club Cover Charge
    $11
  • Thai Boxing Tickets (for Two)
    $73
  • Fish Pedicure
    $4.59
  • Wat Pho entrance ticket
    $3.06
  • Siriraj Museum (2)
    $12

Tours and Activities in Bangkok

Here are a few actual costs in Bangkok for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • SHOCK PRICE!! Only at THB10 for Airport Rail Link (ARL) Single Journey Ticket with FREE EMS: $0.30
  • Pattaya Pipo Pony Club Admission Ticket in Pattaya: $1.55
  • Pattaya Sheep Farm Ticket: $2.19
  • Ramayana Water Park Ticket in Pattaya: $3.75
  • Nails, Eyelash, and Waxing Beauty Experience at Ju's Nail: $3.75
  • Wakeboarding Experience at Thai Wake Park in Pattaya: $4.19
  • Pong Yang Adventure Park Experience: $4.49
  • Old Bangkok Instagram Tour: $4.70
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Road to Democracy Audio Tour: Discover Thailand's volatile modern politics: $5.00
  • Red Lights, Hummus, and a Beer Stop or Three: Audio Tour of Nana by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Bangkok Chinatown Eats Self-guided Walking and Eating Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13

Typical Entertainment prices in Shanghai

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Shanghai are as follows:


  • 30 Minute River Cruise for Two
    $31
  • Zoo for Two
    $16

Tours and Activities in Shanghai

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Shanghai are as follows:

  • Hupao Park Ticket in Hangzhou (For Mainland China ID Holders): $2.35
  • China Red Sandalwood Museum Ticket in Beijing : $2.79
  • Simatai Great Wall Admission with Cable Car Ticket in Beijing: $3.09
  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Ticket Chengdu - ID Card Direct Entry: $4.19
  • half day tour of shanghai: $5.34
  • Evergreen Resort Ticket in Shenzhen: $6.19
  • Jinxi Ancient Town Attractions Combo Ticket: $6.99
  • Gulangyu Seashell Museum Ticket: $7.45
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Sanqiutian Pier: $8.55
  • Wuyishan Xiamei Ancient Village Admission Ticket: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Neicuoao Pier: $8.55
  • Shanghai Joy City Rooftop Ferris Wheel - Sky Ring Ticket: $9.29

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Bangkok may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.29 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $6.61 on alcoholic beverages in Shanghai per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bangkok $7.29
    Shanghai $6.61
Typical Alcohol prices in Bangkok

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Bangkok are as follows:


  • Beer
    $1.22

Sample the Local Flavors in Bangkok

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Bangkok:

  • 4-Hour Sukhumvit Bar Crawl: $7.50
  • 4-Hour Thonglor Bar Crawl: $20
  • Guided Bar Crawl: $21
  • PB Valley Vineyard and Wine Tasting Tour in Khao Yai: $22
  • Bangkok Pub Crawl by Pub Crawls Thailand: $22
  • From Khao Yai Wine Tasting by Bike: $359

Sample the Local Flavors in Shanghai

Also in Shanghai, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Shanghai Luxury Bar Crawl in 5-star Hotel or Boutique Hotel: $255
  • 3 Hour Local Craft Beer Crawl with Brewery Tour: $350


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bangkok and Shanghai, we can see that Shanghai is more expensive. And not only is Bangkok much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Bangkok would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Bangkok and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Shanghai would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Shanghai than you might in Bangkok.

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Bangkok vs. Shanghai Travel Comparison

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