A Travel Price Comparison for China Jinghong vs. Shanghai for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Jinghong or Shanghai?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Jinghong and Shanghai can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Jinghong or Shanghai?


Located in the southernmost part of the Yunnan Province, Jinghong is a city that attracts visitors each year with its rich culture and folklore, Buddhist temples, and tropical rainforest scenery of palms and mango trees amongst others. It is also an area popular with backpackers as well as a waypoint for travelers passing between China and Laos.


Shanghai is the largest and most modern city in China. With a population of over 23 million, it is the economic and financial hub of the country. It also continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in China with regular changes to the city's layout and skyline. It is not uncommon for buildings to be torn down, rebuilt and then torn down and rebuilt again. The city also has skyscrapers that rank among the tallest in the world. It has an ever changing downtown and street scape. In Shanghai, the general mantra remains "out with the old, in with the new".

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Beijing, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Lhasa, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Shanghai, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Beijing.

Which place is cheaper, Shanghai or Jinghong?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Jinghong is $62, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is $115. 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 Jinghong and Shanghai in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Jinghong $20
    Shanghai $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Jinghong $40
    Shanghai $162
Compare Hotels in Jinghong and Shanghai

Looking for a hotel in Jinghong or Shanghai? 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 Jinghong

Hotels in Shanghai

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.
    Jinghong $25
    Shanghai $3.88

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Shanghai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Shanghai:

  • Taxi Ride
  • Two Subway Tickets

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • Mount Mogan Self-Guided Tour from Shanghai by Private Transfer: $108
  • Private Transfer between Shanghai Pudong Int'l Airport & Hongqiao Airport : $45
  • Private Transfer from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to City Center : $30
  • Private Transfer from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Pudong Airport : $43
  • Tongli and Xitang Self-Guided Tour from Shanghai by Private Transfer: $114
  • 1 Day-Pass for Disneyland Shanghai and Private Transfer Package: $245
  • 3-hour Private Transfer to Shanghai ERA Acrobatic Show from City Center: $53
  • Arrival Private Transfer Pudong Airport PVG to Shanghai City by Standard Sedan: $74
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Pudong Airport PVG to Shanghai in Business Car : $114
  • Arrival Transfer by High-Speed Maglev Train: Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Hotel: $79
  • Chauffeur service, Limousine airport transfer in Shanghai-English speaking: $51
  • Departure Private Transfer: Shanghai to Pudong Airport PVG in Business Car: $114

Is it cheaper to fly into Jinghong or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Jinghong 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
    Jinghong $27
    Shanghai $21

Typical Food Prices in Shanghai

Some typical examples of dining costs in Shanghai are as follows:

  • Dumpling Breakfast
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
  • Cantelope
  • Dumplings and Soup
  • Duck Dinner
  • Pastries
  • Barbeque Dinner

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Shanghai

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

  • Online Cooking Class Handmade Noodles by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Sesame Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Dim Sum by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Online Cooking Class Fried Rice by Sunflower Li : $20
  • Online Cooking Class General Tso's Chicken by Sunflower Li: $20
  • Private Cooking Class: Make Your Own Dim Sum In Shanghai: $67
  • 2.5hrs Chinese Kitchen Cooking Class: Xiaolongbao Soup Dumplings: $70
  • Authentic Local Food Tour in Central Shanghai: $79
  • Late Night Food Tour in the Shanghai's French Concession: $89
  • Eat Like A Local: Shanghai Night Food Tour: $90
  • 4-Hour Food Tour in Qibao Water Town from Shanghai by Subway: $95
  • Shanghai Hot pot dinner foodie tour with guide and one way private transfer: $113

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Jinghong $9.19
    Shanghai $8.44

Typical Entertainment Prices in Shanghai

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Shanghai are as follows:

  • 30 Minute River Cruise for Two
  • Zoo for Two

Tours and Activities in Shanghai

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Shanghai are as follows:

  • The History of the French Concession: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Shanghai Highlights Walking Tour: $29
  • Shanghai French Concession Walking Tour: $29
  • Shanghai Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $35
  • Shanghai Downtown Hotel to Baoshan Cruise Port:Private with Meet & Greet service: $38
  • Shanghai Hotels to Wusongkou Cruise Port:Private with Meet & Great service: $38
  • Shanghai Wusongkou Cruise Port to Hongqiao Airport:Private with Meet service: $40
  • Fudan University Student Guide Tour: $42
  • Haipai Culture Tour|Shanghai's Past, Present & Future On One Road: $43
  • Shanghai Tower Tickets Booking: $43
  • Oriental Pearl Tower Tickets Booking: $47
  • 4-Hour Sunset Bike Tour in Shanghai: $49

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Jinghong $5.33
    Shanghai $7.36

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

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

Which is Bigger, Jinghong or Shanghai?

Shanghai has a larger population, and is about 240 times larger than the population of Jinghong. When comparing the sizes of Jinghong and Shanghai, 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.