A Travel Price Comparison for China Dali vs. Chengdu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Dali or Chengdu?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Dali and Chengdu can help you decide which place is right for you.

Dali

Dali is a city in southern China with a long and glorious history dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Xiaguan neighborhood of the city is the modern industrial center where most public transportation arrives; however, the Old Town of Dali is the place that draws the most visitors. Being one of China's ancient cities, Dali is said to have been a gateway to the Silk Road, and still attracts attention with its traditional architecture, beautiful scenery, ethnic cultures, and nightlife.

Chengdu

Chengdu is in China's Sichuan Provence and is in what is known as the Red Basin. It is a particularly fertile region in China that is known for its agriculture. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as the "Land of Milk and Honey". The Funan River cuts through the city but has almost no boat traffic anymore. The city itself has a wonderful relaxed vibe compared to the rest of China and is filled with green parks and places to relax. It is considered one of the most livable cities in China.

Which city is cheaper, Chengdu or Dali?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dali is $43, while the average daily cost in Chengdu is $45. 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 Dali and Chengdu in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $30 in Dali For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in Chengdu.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dali $15
    Chengdu $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dali $30
    Chengdu $38

Food

The average traveler spends about $16 per day in Dali 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 in Chengdu costs travelers about $19 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Dali $16
    Chengdu $19
Typical Food prices in Dali

For Dali, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch
    $4.97
  • Breakfast
    $3.88

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dali

For Dali, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • 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
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • 1-Day Dali Baba Cooking and Cruise Tour: $150

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chengdu

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Food and Cooking experiences in Chengdu: $51
  • Half Day Tour Chengdu Courtyard Cooking Class and Local Spice Market: $56
  • Sichuan cooking class half day tour: $56
  • Half-Day Chinese Bun Cooking Class with Local Spice Market Visit: $56
  • Private Sichuan Cooking Class including Local Wet Market Visit: $59
  • Half-Day Small Group Sichuan Cuisine Museum Tour with Cooking Class: $64
  • Half Day Chengdu Tofu Making Class with Mapo Tofu Cooking: $70
  • Authentic Chengdu Local Food Tour: $73
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Half-Day Private Sichuan Hot-Pot Cooking Class with Local Spice Market Visit: $78
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78

Local Transportation

Dali's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $8.27 per person, per day on transportation in Dali.

The average price of local transportation around Chengdu is $5.33 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.
    Dali $8.27
    Chengdu $5.33
Typical Local Transportation prices in Dali

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


  • Local Bus
    $0.47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dali

Also for Dali, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfers (SHA/PVG) for Shanghai (Multiple Car Models): $38
  • Badaling Great Wall in Beijing Private Transfer: $43
  • Dali Airport Chauffeur Service,Dali Airport Transfer: $40
  • Longji Rice Terraced Fields and Minority Villages Tour with Transfer from Guilin or Yangshuo: $108
  • Luxury Private Shanghai Pudong International Airport Transfers (PVG) for Downtown Shanghai: $118
  • Luxury private Baiyun International Airport Transfers (CAN) for Guangzhou : $74
  • Luxury private Bao'an International Airport Transfers (SZX) for Downtown Shenzhen: $67
  • Luxury private Beijing Capital International Airport Transfers (PEK) for Downtown Beijing: $74
  • Luxury private Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Transfers (SHA) for Downtown Shanghai: $59
  • One Way Private Transfer between Shanghai City and Xitang Scenic Area: $119
  • One Way Private Transfer between Shanghai and Zhujiajiao Scenic Area : $94
  • One Way Private Transfers between Shanghai and Zhouzhuang Scenic Area: $94

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chengdu

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chengdu:

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • Skip The Line: Chengdu to Xi'an/Chongqing Bullet Train Ticket with Transfer: $52
  • Sichuan Face Changing Opera With Door to Door Private Transfer and Guide: $51
  • Shared Shenzhen Airport (SZX) Coach Transfers for Hong Kong (Trans-Island): $12
  • Shared Hong Kong International Airport Transfers (HKG) for Shenzhen: $15
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shunde and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shenzhen Bay Port and Hong Kong (Trans-island): $6.45
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Panyu and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $11
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Hong Kong and Huadu by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $13

Is it cheaper to fly into Dali or Chengdu?

Prices for flights to both Chengdu and Dali 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Dali can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $16 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Chengdu's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 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.
    Dali $16
    Chengdu $14

Tours and Activities in Dali

For Dali, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 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
  • Evergreen Resort Ticket in Shenzhen: $6.19
  • Jinxi Ancient Town Attractions Combo Ticket: $6.99
  • Gulangyu Seashell Museum Ticket: $7.45
  • Wuyishan Xiamei Ancient Village Admission Ticket: $8.55
  • Ferry Round Trip Ticket between Xiamen City and Gulangyu Sanqiutian Pier: $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
  • Guangdong First Peak Ticket: $9.29

Tours and Activities in Chengdu

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 1 Day Chengdu Private Tour to Chengdu Panda Base & City Highlights Visiting: $163
  • 1 Day Leshan Giant Buddha and Tea Terrace in Lost Town Tour: $160
  • 1 Day Wolong Panda Nature Reserve Tour: $218
  • 1-Day Chengdu Ancient History and Culture City Tour: $175
  • 1-Day Chengdu Cultural Discovery:Jinsha,Shu Brocade Museum & Dufu Cottage Tour: $184
  • 1-Day Chengdu Cultural Tour: Ancient Poets and Temples: $184
  • 1-Day Chengdu Leshan Giant Buddha Private Tour With the Lunch and Boat tour: $236
  • 1-Day Chengdu Panda Base and Leshan Giant Buddha GROUP Tour: $140
  • 1-Day Chengdu Panda Base and Leshan Giant Buddha Private Tour with the Lunch: $240
  • 1-Day Chengdu Panda Research Base and Sanxingdui Archeological Museum Tour: $250
  • 1-Day Chengdu Private Tour: Dujiangyan Ancient River Irrigation and Temple Site: $208

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Dali spend on average $9.93 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chengdu may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $3.53 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dali $9.93
    Chengdu $3.53

Sample the Local Flavors in Chengdu

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

  • Half Day Explore Chinese White Wine Distillery in Chengdu: $128


When comparing the travel costs between Dali and Chengdu, we can see that Chengdu is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Dali vs. Chengdu Travel Comparison

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