A Travel Price Comparison for China Guangzhou vs. Lijiang for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Guangzhou or Lijiang?

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

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 Guangzhou and Lijiang can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Guangzhou or Lijiang?


With a population of more than 12 million, Guangzhou is the third largest city in China after Beijing and Shanghai. Though it has a long history, founded in 214 BC, the city has also many modern attractions, a mix of the old and new with temples and parks as well as skyscrapers and shopping centers. Its location on the Pearl River has contributed to this growth, making Guangzhou a major port and commercial hub.


Lijiang is a city in Southwestern China with a history of rule under the Mu family during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It played a key role along the Ancient Southern Silk Road, which started from Burma, crossed Lijiang, Shangri-La County, Tibet, journeyed through Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea. The area was once a center for trade, politics, culture, and education, which is still evident in the rich culture seen today. Lijiang has also been the home of centuries to the Naxi people who still inhabit the area.

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

Which place is cheaper, Lijiang or Guangzhou?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Guangzhou is $89, while the average daily cost in Lijiang is $41. 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 Guangzhou and Lijiang in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guangzhou $57
    Lijiang $15
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guangzhou $114
    Lijiang $30
Compare Hotels in Guangzhou and Lijiang

Looking for a hotel in Guangzhou or Lijiang? 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 Guangzhou

Hotels in Lijiang

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.
    Guangzhou $14
    Lijiang $5.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guangzhou

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Guangzhou:

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Guangzhou HTL-APT (CAN): $62
  • Private Transfer: Guangzhou Baiyun Airport to Guangzhou Nan Railway Station: $38
  • Private Transfer from Guangzhou City Center to South Railway Station: $49
  • Private Transfer between Guangzhou and Shenzhen City Area: $104
  • Private Transfer between Guangzhou Baiyun Mountain and City Area: $44
  • Private Guided Guangzhou Pearl River Cruise Tour With Hotel Transfer: $109
  • Private Departure Transfer in English-speaking: Hotel to Airport: $99
  • Private Day Tour to Zhuhai from Guangzhou by Private Transfer: $300
  • Private Baiyun Airport Transfer to Guangzhou Railway or East Railway Station: $49
  • Pearl River Night Cruise with Private Transfers in Guangzhou: $129
  • Pearl River Night Cruise in Guangzhou with Private Transfer: $69
  • Guangzhou Downtown Hotel - Baiyun Airport OneWay Private Transfer: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lijiang

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

  • Lijiang Sanyi International Airport Chauffeur Service,Lijiang Airport Transfer: $57
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang to Shangri-La and Stops at Tiger Leaping Gorge: $159
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang/Shuhe hotel to Dali : $149
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang/Shuhe hotel to Shangri-la(Diqing) hotel: $149

Is it cheaper to fly into Guangzhou or Lijiang?

Prices for flights to both Lijiang and Guangzhou 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 Meals for one day
    Guangzhou $19
    Lijiang $17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guangzhou

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

  • Guangzhou Evening Food Tour Through Local Neighborhood: $65
  • Guangzhou Night View Cruise Tour with Dinner: $90
  • Private Guangzhou Evening Food Tour with Pearl River Night Cruise: $140
  • Private Guangzhou Night Tour VIP Cruise and Dim-Sum Dinner Option: $146
  • 3-Hour Guangzhou Private Cooking Class with Local Market Visit : $165
  • Private Guangzhou Night Tour with Canton Tower and Dim-Sum Dinner: $176
  • Private Guangzhou Food Tour Michelin Restaurant&Local Food Market: $180
  • Private Guangzhou Food Tour Yumcha and Local Food Market Explore: $180
  • Cantonese Dim Sum Dinner with Pearl River Night Cruise in Guangzhou: $199
  • Guangzhou Private Night Tour: Lychee Bay, Beijing Road, Cruise, Dinner: $204
  • Private Cooking Canton Cuisine Cooking Class in Guangzhou : $266

Typical Food Prices in Lijiang

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

  • Lunch for Two

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lijiang

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

  • Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit: $59

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guangzhou $18
    Lijiang $20

Tours and Activities in Guangzhou

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

  • Guangzhou Self-Guided Tour with Private Car and Driver Service: $75
  • 1 Day Historical Guangzhou Layover Tour from Airport: $260
  • 1-Day Guangzhou Airport Layover Visa-Free Private City Tour: $185
  • 4 Hours Half Day Guangzhou Airport Layover Visa-Free Private Tour: $180
  • 4-Hour Baiyun Mountain Yuntai Garden Private Guangzhou City Tour: $180
  • 4-Hour Private Flexible Guangzhou City Tour with Dim-Sum Option: $95
  • 5-Hour Private Guangzhou Yumcha Tasting with Local Food Market Experience : $118
  • 5-Hour Sai Kwan Walking Tour with Unique Food Tasting: $72
  • All Inclusive Private Day Tour to Lotus Hill and Shawan Old Town from Guangzhou: $229
  • Ancient Foshan Day Tour from Guangzhou: $201
  • Ancient Water Village Folk Houses and Wine Culture Private Tour: $220
  • Best of Guangzhou City Sightseeing: $110

Tours and Activities in Lijiang

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

  • Via Ferrata with Zipline Experience in Lijiang: $42
  • Private Half-Day Tour: Old Town of Lijiang and Black Dragon Pond Park: $98
  • Half-Day Private Tour Tiger Leaping Gorge in Lijiang : $106
  • One day Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tour in From Lijiang: $160
  • 1 Day Private Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Lijiang or Dali: $165
  • 1 Day Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour from Lijiang or Shangri-La: $170
  • Beautiful Country road Biking tour to Xinhua village Heqing start from Lijiang: $173
  • Private trekking tour to Wenhai lake from Lijiang half day service: $175
  • Private Jade Dragon Snow Mountains and Naxi Village Tour: $187
  • 2 Days Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour by public coach: $189
  • Private Day Tour Tiger Leaping Gorge and Black Dragon Pond from Lijiang: $207
  • 1-Day Lijiang tour with Lijiang Old Town,Black Dragon Pool,Baisha Village,Shuhe: $207

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guangzhou $14
    Lijiang $7.86

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

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

Which is Bigger, Guangzhou or Lijiang?

Guangzhou has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Lijiang. When comparing the sizes of Guangzhou and Lijiang, 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.