Should you visit Hongcun or Shangri-La?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Hongcun and Shangri-La can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
When you picture ancient China, you likely picture old cobblestone streets, white homes with pointed black roofs and a slight air of mysticism in the surroundings. This is Hongcun.
The backdrop for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is not usually on the top of many traveler's lists. This isn't a bustling tourist town with guides offering to show you the sights or carts peddling the latest tacky souvenir. It's a quiet village where you'll see the real Chinese culture. The homes along the complex water canals air their fish in their windows to preserve it for their family dinners. There is no bowing to tourism here.
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 Hongcun?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Hongcun is $18, 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 Hongcun and Shangri-La in more detail.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Hongcun is $19. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $3.95. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Shangri-La the cost is $7.90 on average.
Food in Hongcun costs travelers about $4.09 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.
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.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Hongcun
Some typical examples of dining costs in Hongcun are as follows:
Lunch for Two
Breakfast of Dumplings
The average price of local transportation around Shangri-La is $0.16 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $16 per person, per day in Hongcun. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Shangri-La's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $9.03 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.
Typical Entertainment prices in Hongcun
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Hongcun are as follows:
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.
When comparing the travel costs between Hongcun and Shangri-La, we can see that Hongcun 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.
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