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

Should you visit Guilin or Dali?

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 Guilin and Dali can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Guilin or Dali?

Guilin

Guilin is a city in Southern China situated on the west bank of the Li River with Hunan to the north. Its name means, "Forest of Sweet Osmanthus," owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. Products like tea, sugar, and wine, can be made from the tree and are found in many shops throughout Guilin. A popular tourist destination, the city is renowned for its scenery of karst topography with unique mountains jutting out of the urban landscape.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in China, The Best Historical Tours in China, The Best 10-Day Tours in China, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in China.


Which place is cheaper, Dali or Guilin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Guilin is $67, while the average daily cost in Dali is $48. 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 Guilin and Dali in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guilin $34
    Dali $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guilin $68
    Dali $34
Compare Hotels in Guilin and Dali

Looking for a hotel in Guilin or Dali? 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 Guilin


Hotels in Dali


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.
    Guilin $5.77
    Dali $9.21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Guilin

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Guilin are as follows:


  • Taxi
    $2.77

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guilin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Guilin:

  • [Airport Transfer] Haikou Airport ⇔ Haikou City Transfer ☆ High reputation for service! <Charter charter> *: $23
  • Yangshuo Via Ferrata with Round way private transfer from Guilin hotel: $120
  • Transfer from Guilin Liangjiang Airport to Guilin City Center: $41
  • Transfer from Guilin Hotels to Yangshuo Town: $37
  • Private Transfer: Guilin Airport to Yangshuo Hotel: $115
  • Private Transfer from Yangshuo/Guilin to Sanjiang and stops Longji Rice Terraces: $160
  • Private Transfer from Guilin to Zhaoxing and stops at Longji terraces: $168
  • Private Transfer from Guilin to Zhaoxing and stops at Chengyang Dong Village: $197
  • Private Transfer from Guilin to Fenghuang and stops at Longji rice terraces area: $267
  • Private Transfer from Guilin hotel to Yangshuo hotel: $37
  • Private Transfer from Guilin hotel to Xingping hotel: $64
  • Private Guilin Airport Transfer to Yangshuo: $42

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Dali

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


  • Local Bus
    $0.41

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 Transfer from Dali to Lijiang/Shuhe hotel: $149
  • Private Transfer from Dali to Lijiang/Shuhe hotel and Stops at Shaxi Old Town: $160

Is it cheaper to fly into Guilin or Dali?

Prices for flights to both Dali and Guilin 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
    Guilin $22
    Dali $18
Typical Food Prices in Guilin

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Guilin:


  • Fresh Coconut Drink
    $1.38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guilin

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

  • Half day Yangshuo Cooking lesson Small Group Tour: $62
  • Full-Day Li-River with the 4 Star Luxury Boat VIP Room and Yangshuo Cooking Tour: $286

Typical Food Prices in Dali

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


  • Lunch
    $4.43
  • Breakfast
    $3.46

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guilin $28
    Dali $18
Typical Entertainment Prices in Guilin

Here are a few typical costs in Guilin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Entrance to the Caves
    $17

Tours and Activities in Guilin

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

  • 2-Day Self-Guided Guilin Tour with 4 Star Boat, Yangshuo and Longji Terraces : $200
  • Full-Day Guilin Li-River Cruise with 4 star boat and Reed Flute Cave Tour: $262
  • Full-Day Yangshuo Sunrise and Li-River cruise with the 4 Star Boat Private Tour: $272
  • Longji Rice Terraces Day Tour with the Ping'an and Dazhai Village: $209
  • 1 Day Guilin to Yangshuo with top scenery & culture private tour : $79
  • 1 Day Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo with Private Guide & Driver: $219
  • 1 Day Private Tour: Li River Cruise from Guilin & Yangshuo Biking: $169
  • 1 Day Relaxing Li River Cruise Private Tour with the 4 Star Luxury Boat VIP Room: $251
  • 1 Day Relaxing Li River Cruise With The 4 Star Luxury Boat lower Deck Seating: $225
  • 1 Day Yangshuo Countryside Cycling and Yulong bamboo boat Private Tour: $94
  • 1 Day Yangshuo private Day Tour with the Scooter: $105
  • 1 day Guilin Li River Cruise and Yangshuo Countryside with Scooter Private Tour: $204

Tours and Activities in Dali

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

  • 1-Day Erhai Sightseeing in Dali: $129
  • 1 day Dali Highlights Mini Group Tour: $140
  • 1-Day Tie Dye Experience Tour in Dali: $160
  • Private Day Tour of Dali Explore the Ancient City: $175
  • Private hiking 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
  • 2-Days Self-Guided tour from Dali to Lijiang and overnight in Shaxi old town: $205
  • All inclusive Dali Erhai cruise three pagoda xizhou towntour: $210
  • Private Customized Tour: Dali City Highlights in One Day: $213
  • All Inclusive Private Day Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Dali: $213

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guilin $5.73
    Dali $11


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

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


Which is Bigger, Guilin or Dali?

Guilin has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Dali. When comparing the sizes of Guilin and Dali, 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.