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

Should you visit Dalian or Shangri-La?

Should I visit Dalian or Shangri-La? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Dalian

Dalian, China is a very large peninsula city located in the southernmost part of the Liaoning Province in northeast China. The area has a wealth of history, with roots in Russian and Japanese rule, resulting in unique architecture and many universities that attract foreign students and teachers. Dalian is also known for their beautiful green spaces and relaxing beaches which juxtapose a lot of the more industrial cities found throughout other areas of northern China.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Shangri-La or Dalian?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dalian is $92, while the average daily cost in Shangri-La is $17. 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 Dalian and Shangri-La in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $98 in Dalian For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $3.89. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Shangri-La the cost is $7.78 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dalian $49
    Shangri-La $3.89
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dalian $98
    Shangri-La $7.78

Food

In Dalian travelers spend around $24 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Shangri-La 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
    Dalian $24
    Shangri-La $11

Local Transportation

Dalian'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 $36 per person, per day on transportation in Dalian.

The average price of local transportation around Shangri-La is $0.15 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.
    Dalian $36
    Shangri-La $0.15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dalian

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

  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $27
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Railway Station: $30
  • Private Departure Transfer:Hotel to Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport(DLC): $32
  • Private Arrival Transfer to Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport from Dalian Downtown: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer: City Hotel to Any Guiyang Railway Station: $36
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport Chauffeur Service , to Dalian Transfer: $40
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $56
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer:Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport(DLC): $62
  • Dalian Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Railway Station: $89
  • Dalian Private Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $89

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Dalian can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $4.29 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Shangri-La's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $8.91 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.
    Dalian $4.29
    Shangri-La $8.91

Tours and Activities in Dalian

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Dalian.

  • Dalian City Highlight Private Day tour: $73
  • Dalian City Private Day Tour in Your Way: $150
  • Flexible Dalian City Highlights Private Day Tour with Lunch: $188
  • Private Dalian Night Tour: $200
  • Private 2 Day Tour of Dalian City: $250
  • All Inclusive Private Lushun(Port Arthur) Full-Day Tour: $300
  • All-Inclusive Private Dalian Port Layover Tour with Lunch: $300
  • All Inclusive 2-Day Private Tour of Beijing City Highlights from Dalian by Air: $738
  • 3-Day Private Tibet Tour from Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake and Khampa La Pass: $925
  • 4 Days Private History and Culture Tour of Beijing and Xi'an: $1,088
  • All Inclusive 3-Day Private Tour of Xi'an and Beijing from Dalian with Hotel: $1,278
  • 7-Day Private China Tour from Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin and Shanghai: $2,328

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Dalian, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.67.

The average person spends about $15 on alcoholic beverages in Shangri-La per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dalian $5.67
    Shangri-La $15


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dalian and Shangri-La, we can see that Dalian 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 Dalian would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dalian than you might in Shangri-La.

Budget Your Trip

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Dalian vs. Shangri-La Travel Comparison

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