A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Beijing vs. Phnom Penh for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Beijing or Phnom Penh?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Beijing and Phnom Penh can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Beijing or Phnom Penh?

Beijing

Beijing is the capital of China and, with 21.5 million people, it is the second most populated city in the world after Shanghai. It is a city that keeps pockets of its history hidden in old neighborhoods or back alleys, despite the constant change and modernization that goes on around it. As the capital city of China, there is plenty of history and culture. You can still get yourself lost in one of the last remaining hutongs, which are old neighborhoods that remain untouched by the city's modernization. The alleys that weave between the old homes are lined with drying clothes, corner markets, and people going about their daily lives the way they have for centuries. Surrounding these hutongs you'll find modern buildings and a booming economy, all threatening to destroying these last bits of Beijing's history. Beijing offers a glimpse into a microcosm that represents the entire country of China. Make sure you give yourself enough time in China to truly experience Beijing. You can pass a lot of time soaking up life in the city, which remains as diverse as the country it resides within.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city in the country of Cambodia. It is located at the edge of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap rivers and is the nation's center of economics and industry. The metropolitan area has a population of about 2.2 million.

Phnom Penh was once called the "Pearl of Asia." In the 1920s it was one of the most impressive French built cities in the region and was an important tourist destination. During the Vietnam War, refugees fled to the city and by 1975 the city's population was between 2 and 3 million, most of them being refugees. The city fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and they cut off supplies to the population for over a year. Journalists reported torture and mutilation of the trapped civilians and the Khmer Rouge forcibly evacuated the city in what is known as the death march. The Khmer Rouge was driven from the city by the Vietnamese in 1979 and reconstruction began.

Today, tourism continues to grow in the city and those who visit are greeted by a welcoming and friendly population, a rich culture, and truly rewarding travel experience.

Phnom Penh has a tropical wet and dry climate. It is hot year around with very little temperature variation. Lows are usually in the low 70s Fahrenheit and highs are in the mid to high 90s Fahrenheit. The southwest monsoon brings rains between May and October and the northeast monsoon brings the dry season from November to March.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Beijing, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to China, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Cambodia, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Cambodia.


Which place is cheaper, Phnom Penh or Beijing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $76, while the average daily cost in Phnom Penh is $40. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Beijing and Phnom Penh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $39
    Phnom Penh $12
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $78
    Phnom Penh $24
Compare Hotels in Beijing and Phnom Penh

Looking for a hotel in Beijing or Phnom Penh? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Beijing


Hotels in Phnom Penh


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Phnom Penh Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $7.71
    Phnom Penh $7.71
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Beijing

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Beijing:


  • Taxi
    $4.71
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $6.90
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $8.28
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.21
  • Metro
    $0.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Jinshanling Great Wall Self-hiking Tour by Private Transfer Service : $98
  • Private English Transfer to Shilin Gorge Platform And Ming City Wall : $140
  • 1 Day Pass for Universal Beijing and Private Transfer Package: $265
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Private Tour: Forbidden City with Round Airport transfers: $198
  • 1-Day Beijing Layover Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall with Round Airport Transfers: $208
  • 1-Day Bejing Layover Tour:Mutianyu Great Wall,Forbidden City & Airport Transfers: $250
  • 4-Hour Huanghuacheng Great Wall Sunset Tour with Airport Transfer: $160
  • 5 Hours Round Trip Transfer Service to Mutianyu Great Wall: $70
  • Acrobatic Show at Red Theater With Private Transfer: $45
  • Airport Layover Transfer Service to Mutianyu Great Wall & City Sightseeing : $115
  • Ancient city of Jimingyi (hotel pickup & Roundtrip Transfer): $200
  • Arrival Transfer from Beijing Capital International Airport(PEK) to Hotel: $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phnom Penh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Phnom Penh:

  • 1 Way Transfer Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville/Sihanoukville-Phnom Penh: $88
  • DayTrip Phnom Penh- Siem Reap Road Transfer Plus Sightseeing: $85
  • From Private Transfer to Siem Reap: $61
  • From Sihanoukville: Private Taxi Transfer to Phnom Penh City: $73
  • Ground Transfer/ Minivan/ Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: $150
  • Ground Transfer/SUV/ Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: $110
  • Intercity Transfer Siem Reap-Phnom Penh/Phnom Penh-Siem Reap: $130
  • Overland Taxi Transfer From Phnom Penh - Sihanoukville : $59
  • Phnom Penh Airport (PNH) Pickup/Transfer Private Car: $25
  • Phnom Penh Airport Private Taxi Transfer - Hotels: $21
  • Phnom Penh Airport Transfers: $19
  • Phnom Penh Airport Transfers: $12

Is it cheaper to fly into Beijing or Phnom Penh?

Prices for flights to both Phnom Penh and Beijing 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Beijing $19
    Phnom Penh $13
Typical Food Prices in Beijing

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


  • Popcorn
    $0.83
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $6.90
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $2.76
  • Watermelon
    $1.93
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $16
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.83

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Beijing

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

  • Online Cooking Class Beijing Dumplings and Cuisine by Sunflowerli Renowned Chef : $20
  • Online Cooking Class Orange Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Kungpao Chicken: $20
  • Beijing Acrobatic Show Tickets w/ Optional Dinner or Transfer: $48
  • 3.5-Hour Walking Food Tour: A Bite of History at Beijing Niujie Street: $49
  • Temple of Heaven Private Tour w/Option Show &Dinner: $54
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $55
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $55
  • Hidden Gems Guided Food Tour with Beer and Tastings: $75
  • Beijing Gulou Night Market Food Tour: $75
  • discovery more Beijing back street evening food tour with locals : $79
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80

Typical Food Prices in Phnom Penh

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


  • Dinner for Two
    $9.96
  • Breakfast for Two
    $4.74

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phnom Penh

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

  • Sunset Dinner Cruises w/Live Music, 5&7pm; Free Pickup Available: $9.90
  • Sunset Dinner Cruises w/Live Music, 5&7pm; Free Pickup Avail: $9.90
  • Hinterlands Local Village Cooking Class: $24
  • 4-hours cooking with us in the Hinterlands of Phnom Penh: $25
  • Khmer Cooking Class Half Day (AM or PM): $36
  • Evening Food Tour with Drinks & Tuk Tuk Included: $40
  • Half Day - Phnom Penh Food Tour: $45
  • Khmer Cooking Class Full Day: $46
  • Phnom Penh Local Market & Morning Food Tour Include Drinks: $49
  • Phnom Penh Evening Food Tour - Inclusive over 10 Local Tastings: $49
  • Temples, Silk Island and Cooking Class Tour: $52
  • Phnom Penh's experience: cooking class and stay over : $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $24
    Phnom Penh $7.50
Typical Entertainment Prices in Beijing

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


  • Entry to Summer Palace for Two
    $8.28
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $59
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $9.66
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $17
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $17
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $11

Tours and Activities in Beijing

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

  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Summer Palace Group Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Hutongs Group Walking Tour : $5.00
  • Beijing's Old Hutongs: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Imperial Ancestral Temple Ticket Booking Service: $5.73
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket: $6.50
  • Beijing Lama Temple Entrance Ticket with Optional Guided Service: $7.00
  • Panda House+City Attractions or Mutianyu Day Tour: $7.17
  • Beijing Summer Palace Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $7.88
  • Beijing Temple of Heaven Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $7.88
  • Temple of Heaven Ticket Booking: $7.90
  • Confucius Temple and Imperial College Entrance Ticket : $8.00

Tours and Activities in Phnom Penh

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

  • Mad Monkey Phnom Penh Riverside Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Mad Monkey Phnom Penh Riverside Walking Tour : $6.00
  • One Hour City Light Cruise-Foods & Drinks available for purchase: $8.00
  • Sunset Cruise on Kanika Boat: $8.60
  • Private Phnom Penh Day Tour : Explore All Highlights Sites: $9.00
  • Sunset Cruise on the Mekong River: $9.60
  • Sunset Cruise: Your Cruise You Choose, 3 wonderful options: $12
  • Sunset Cruise with Unlimited Beers & BBQ Buffet: $12
  • Sunset Cruise - Three Packages to Choose From!: $12
  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21) and Choeung Ek Killing Fields Tour: $15
  • Killing Fields and Prison S21 Bus Tour: $15
  • Killing Fields and Prison S21 Bus Tour: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $11
    Phnom Penh $4.24

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Beijing:

  • Evening Food Private Tour with Brewery Taproom Hopping at Slow Boat in Beijing: $110
  • Private Tour-Drum Tower, Hutong Food Taste and Local Brewery Beer: $120
  • Full Day Private Chateau Changyu Wine Tour from Beijing: $162
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $238

Sample the Local Flavors in Phnom Penh

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Phnom Penh:

  • Mad Monkey Phnom Penh Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $10
  • Mad Monkey Phnom Penh Pub Crawl: $10


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Beijing and Phnom Penh, we can see that Beijing is more expensive. And not only is Phnom Penh much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Phnom Penh would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Phnom Penh 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 Beijing would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Beijing than you might in Phnom Penh.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Beijing Expensive? and Is Phnom Penh Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Beijing or Phnom Penh?

Beijing has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Phnom Penh. When comparing the sizes of Beijing and Phnom Penh, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.