A Travel Price Comparison for China Chongqing vs. Shangri-La for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chongqing or Shangri-La?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Chongqing and Shangri-La. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Chongqing or Shangri-La?

Chongqing

Chongqing, China is a large city in central China and one of only four cities in the country that are not part of a province. While Chongqing is famous for being an economically important city, brush away its industrial surface and you'll find a naturally beautiful city with plenty of hidden wonders. Although you'll find many expats in the city, English is rarely spoken, meaning knowing some basic Mandarin will come in handy.

Shangri-La

The original Shangri-La existed in the fictional world of James Hilton's novel "The Lost Horizon." It was a hidden paradise, a place so beautiful that it couldn't possibly exist on earth. The Shangri-La that exists in Yunnan, China today was renamed from its former title Zhongdian in 2001 in order to associate the place with the mystical allure created in Hilton's novel. Visitors come to admire the traditional monasteries and temples set against a backdrop of mountain preserves and pristine lakes.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in China, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in China, The Best 2-Week Tours in China, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in China.


Which place is cheaper, Shangri-La or Chongqing?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chongqing is $86, while the average daily cost in Shangri-La is $46. 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 Chongqing and Shangri-La in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chongqing $49
    Shangri-La $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chongqing $98
    Shangri-La $36
Compare Hotels in Chongqing and Shangri-La

Looking for a hotel in Chongqing or Shangri-La? 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 Chongqing


Hotels in Shangri-La


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chongqing $18
    Shangri-La $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chongqing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chongqing:

  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chongqing Jiangbei Airport (CKG) to Hotel: $22
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chongqing Jiangbei Airport (CKG): $22
  • Private Arrival Transfer:Any Chongqing Railway Station to Hotel: $24
  • Chongqing Jiangbei Airport (CKG) private round-trip transfer: $24
  • Private Departure Transfer:Hotel to Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport CKG: $39
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport(CKG) to Hotel: $39
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chongqing Chaotianmen Cruise Pier to Hotel: $39
  • Datong Yungang Airport Chauffeur Service , to Datong Transfer: $40
  • Chongqing Jiangbei Airport Chauffeur Service, Chongqing Airport Transfer, Pickup: $50
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer: Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport(CKG) : $60
  • Chongqing Jiangbei Airport Chauffeur Service, Chongqing Airport Transfer, Pickup: $60
  • Private One Way Transfer (English Service) between Airport & Hotel & Cruise Port: $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shangri-La

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shangri-La:

  • Private Transfer from Shangri-La to Lijiang and Stops at Tiger Leaping Gorge: $160
  • Private Transfer from Shangri-la(Diqing) hotel to Lijiang/Shuhe hotel : $149

Is it cheaper to fly into Chongqing or Shangri-La?

Prices for flights to both Shangri-La and Chongqing 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
    Chongqing $24
    Shangri-La $19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chongqing

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

  • 4 Hour Walking Historical Local Food Tour: $109
  • Chongqing Liangjiang Night Cruise Including Authentic Hot Pot Dinner: $115
  • CHONGQING:Strolling through the city(Include dinner): $127
  • Chongqing City Private Night Tour with Hot Pot Dinner: $158
  • Private Chongqing night tour with dinner hot pot: $170

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chongqing $13
    Shangri-La $16

Tours and Activities in Chongqing

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

  • 3-Hour Walking Tour of Chongqing Shancheng (Mountain City) Lane: $65
  • Private Chongqing Day Tour: Panda, E'ling Park, Three Gorges Museum: $99
  • city tour of Chongqing : $130
  • Chongqing Half Day Morning Private Tour including Eling Park & Chongqing Museum: $135
  • Private Chongqing Illuminated Night Tour : $138
  • Private Amazing Chongqing City Day Tour in Your Way: $139
  • 1-Day Chongqing Dazu Rock Carvings Private Tour With the Lunch: $143
  • From Full-Day Private Tour Dazu Rock Carvings: $143
  • 1-Day Chongqing City Private Tour with the Hot pot Lunch: $157
  • Best of Chongqing One Day Tour: Stilwell Museum, Arhat Temple, Eling Park, Panda: $157
  • Chongqing Yangtze River Cruise and Illuminated Night Tour: $158
  • Full Day Chongqing Highlights Private Tour: $180

Tours and Activities in Shangri-La

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Shangri-La are as follows:

  • 1-Day Shangri-La Private Tour: Potatso National Park and Baiji Temple: $169
  • 1-Day Shangri-La Tour to Ganden Monastery, Nixi Pottery Village and Tibetan Town: $185
  • 1-Day Shangri-La tour with Ganden Monastery, Napahai Lake and Tibetan Town: $190
  • Private tour Songzanlin Monastry & Tibetan lunch from Zhongdian: $199
  • 1 Day Shangri-la City Tour with Pudacuo National Park: $209

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chongqing $6.88
    Shangri-La $13


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Chongqing Expensive? and Is Shangri-La Expensive?.


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