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

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 $20, while the average daily cost in Chengdu 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Dali and Chengdu in more detail.




Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $13 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 $6.66
    Chengdu $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dali $13
    Chengdu $38


Food

The average traveler spends about $7.50 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 $20 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 $7.50
    Chengdu $20
Typical Food prices in Dali

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


  • Lunch
    $5.02
  • Breakfast
    $3.93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dali

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

  • 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.

  • 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
  • Half-Day Private Sichuan Hot-Pot Cooking Class with Local Spice Market Visit: $78
  • Half-Day Sichuan Cooking Class Experience in Chengdu: $87
  • Half day Sichuan Cuisine Cooking Class Tour: $96
  • Private tour to Panda Base and Cooking class in Chengdu: $98


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 $0.66 per person, per day on transportation in Dali.

The average price of local transportation around Chengdu is $5.40 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 $0.66
    Chengdu $5.40
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:

  • Dali Airport Chauffeur Service,Dali Airport Transfer: $40
  • Private One Way Transfer to Lijiang from Dali: $96
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer Service to Shaxi Ancient Town from Dali: $88
  • Private Transfer from Dali to Lijiang/Shuhe hotel: $140
  • Private Transfer from Dali to Lijiang/Shuhe hotel and Stops at Shaxi Old Town: $150

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chengdu

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chengdu:

  • 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
  • Round-Trip Private Transfer between Emei Shan and Chengdu City: $106
  • Round Trip Chengdu Shuangliu Airport (CTU) Transfer to Chengdu City Center: $34
  • Private airport transfer to or from Chengdu International Airport Max 5 persons: $19
  • Private airport transfer to or from Chengdu International Airport Max 5 person: $19
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu to Mount Emei and Stops at Leshan Giant Buddha: $150
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou Valley hotel: $350
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu hotel to Chengdu Train Station: $25
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu Railway Station to City Hotel: $30
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu City Hotels to Airport: $35
  • Private Transfer from Chengdu Airport to City Hotels: $35


Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Dali can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $4.71 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Chengdu's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 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 $4.71
    Chengdu $15

Tours and Activities in Dali

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

  • Half-Day Shangri-La Thangka Tour: $88
  • 1-Day Erhai Sightseeing in Dali: $129
  • One day tour to Rehai Hot Sea and Heshun Old Town in Tengchong: $149
  • 1-Day Dali Mountain and Cuisine Tour: $150
  • 1-Day Electric Bike Tour in Dali: $160
  • 1-Day Tie Dye Experience Tour in Dali: $160
  • Private Tour: Explore the Ancient City of Dali: $171
  • Private Day Tour of Dali Explore the Ancient City: $171
  • Private hiking and trekking tour to Cangshan Mountain from Dali: $175
  • Private tour to Xizhou old town local market Erhai lake three Pagodas from Dali: $184
  • Dali Private Tour to Xizhou Ancient Town and Erhai Lake: $186
  • 1-Day Dali tour with the Daili old town, Xizhou Village and Three Pagodas: $195

Tours and Activities in Chengdu

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

  • 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
  • 1-Day Chengdu tour with Panda Base, Renmin Park,Wenshu Temple and Hot Pot Lunch: $188


Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Dali spend on average $2.53 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 $3.58 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dali $2.53
    Chengdu $3.58

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

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Dali vs. Chengdu Travel Comparison

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