A Travel Price Comparison for China Lhasa vs. Datong for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Lhasa or Datong?

Should I visit Lhasa or Datong? 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.

Lhasa

Lhasa is the famed capital of Tibet, and is one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit. It's name means "Land of the Gods" and the city dates back more than 1,300 years. It's elevation is 3,650 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest cities in the world. It sits on the northern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains by the Lhasa River and is the second largest city on the Tibetan Plateau after Xining.

Datong

If you're looking for an old world city, with a renovated feel, you might want to spend some time in Datong, China. This city was once walled-in and the newest initiative is to rebuild their great wall to maintain their old world charm. Datong is definitely done a lot to make itself a contender in the world of vacation destinations.

Which city is cheaper, Datong or Lhasa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lhasa is $63, while the average daily cost in Datong is $50. 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 Lhasa and Datong in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $70 in Lhasa For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The prices for places to stay in Datong can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $21, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $42.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lhasa $35
    Datong $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lhasa $70
    Datong $42

Food

Lhasa food costs typically run travelers around $23 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

The average traveler spends about $18 per day in Datong 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
    Lhasa $23
    Datong $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lhasa

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

  • 4-Day Lhasa City Essential Group Tour including Hotel and Welcome Dinner: $592

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Lhasa than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $2.29 on transportation in Lhasa on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Datong than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $11 on transportation in Datong on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lhasa $2.29
    Datong $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lhasa

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

  • Lhasa Kongga Airport Chauffeur Service, Lhasa Airport Transfer, Pickup: $260
  • Lhasa Private Arrival Transfer: Railway Station to Hotel: $89
  • Lhasa Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Railway Station: $89
  • Lhasa Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Datong

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

  • Private Transfer Service from Yungang Airport to Datong Hotel: $29
  • Private Transfer Service from Datong to Pingyao Ancient City: $238
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer Service to Wutaishan Mountain from Datong: $190
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer Service to Hanging Temple and Hengshan from Datong: $70
  • Private Round Trip Transfer to Jiayuguan and Xuanbi Great Wall: $58
  • Private One Way Transfer from Datong to Beijing: $211
  • Private One Way Transfer Service to Pingyao from Datong: $179
  • Private Day tour of Datong From Beijing Including Transfer Service: $828
  • Dunhuang Private Round Trip Transfer to Jiayuguan and Xuanbi Great Wall: $100
  • Datong Yungang Airport Chauffeur Service , to Datong Transfer: $12
  • Datong Railway Station Private Departure Transfer from City Hotels: $30
  • Datong Private Round-Trip Transfer Service to Hanging Temple, Yungang Grottoes: $100

Is it cheaper to fly into Lhasa or Datong?

Prices for flights to both Datong and Lhasa 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Lhasa, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Datong, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $22 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lhasa $15
    Datong $22

Tours and Activities in Lhasa

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

  • 10 Days Lhasa Mt. Everest Namtso Lake Group Tour: $1,274
  • 13 Days Lhasa Mt.EBC Mt. Kailash Kathmandu Group Tour: $2,368
  • 14 Days Lhasa and Mt Kalaish Pilgrimage Trek Group Tour: $1,830
  • 15 Days Mt Everest and Mt Kailash kora pilgrimage group tour: $2,221
  • 15 Days Mt Kailash Trek Group Tour: $2,053
  • 15 Days Mt. Kailash and Manasarova Pilgrimage Group Tour: $2,368
  • 15-Day Small-Group Best of Tibet Tour: $3,636
  • 16-Day Saga Dawa Festival Tour at Kailash (Fullmoon): $2,895
  • 2-Day Gyantse and Shigatse Tour from Lhasa: $359
  • 2-Day Lake Namtso Experience Small-Group Tour from Lhasa: $353
  • 3-Day Private Tour: Lhasa, Gyangtse, and Shigatse: $936
  • 3-Night Essential Lhasa Tour: $474

Tours and Activities in Datong

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

  • 1 Day Tour Northern Taiwan Coast Tour: $200
  • 1-Day Pingyao tour from Datong and ends of Beijing or Xi'an by Bullet Train: $260
  • 1-Day Private Tour: Datong Highlights with the Lunch: $210
  • 2-Day Datong Tour to Yungang Grottoes, Hanging Temple and Pingyao Ancient City: $439
  • 2-Day Private Datong Tour:Hanging Temple, Yugang Grottoes,Wooden Pagoda and More: $336
  • 2-Day Private Tour to Sun Moon Lake and Mount Hehuan: $295
  • 2-Day Private Tour: Datong Highlights: $415
  • 2-Days Private Tour to Hanging Temple and Wutaishan from Datong with Hotel: $468
  • 3-Day Private Tour of Taroko Gorge & East Coast Scenic Area: $450
  • 3-Day Private tour: From Datong to Pingyao: $615
  • 4 Hour Private Walking Tour of the Yungang Grottoes in Datong: $101
  • 4-Day Private tour: From Datong to Pingyao: $750

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Lhasa spend on average $6.17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Datong, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $11.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lhasa $6.17
    Datong $11


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

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Lhasa vs. Datong Travel Comparison

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