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

Should you visit Lhasa or Kunming?

Should I visit Lhasa or Kunming? 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.

Kunming

Kunming, located in southern China, is the modern capital city of the Yunnan province. It is a transportation hub for visitors entering the region, and good transfer point to just about everywhere else in the province by train or bus. Within the city itself there are many things to see and do with a full range of parks and zoos, museums, temples, theatres, and scenic areas.

Which city is cheaper, Kunming 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 Kunming is $60. 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 Kunming 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.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Kunming, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Kunming, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lhasa $35
    Kunming $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lhasa $70
    Kunming $60

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.

In Kunming travelers spend around $20 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Lhasa $23
    Kunming $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lhasa

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • 4-Day Lhasa City Essential Group Tour including Hotel and Welcome Dinner: $592

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kunming

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

  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Private Kunming Night Tour with Dinner: $78
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Beijing Hutong Evening Food Tour by Tuk Tuk: $80
  • Chengdu Panda Base Private Day Tour and Sichuan Cooking Class: $83
  • Half-day Kunming Street Food Tour: $93
  • 3 Hours Kunming Foodie: Tofu Banquet Cooking & Stinky Tofu Tasting Experience: $107
  • Beijing Food Culture & Cooking Class: $137
  • 2 Days Kunming Food Tour with Goat Cheese Making Experience: $446

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 $2.31 on transportation in Lhasa on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Kunming than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $12 on transportation in Kunming on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lhasa $2.31
    Kunming $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lhasa

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

  • Private City Transfers between Zhongshan and Hong Kong: $313
  • Private City Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong: $296
  • Private City Transfers between Guangzhou and Hong Kong: $283
  • Lhasa Kongga Airport Chauffeur Service, Lhasa Airport Transfer, Pickup: $260
  • Private City Transfers between Huizhou and Hong Kong : $230
  • Private MPV City Transfer between Guangdong & Hong Kong: $187
  • Private Changsha Huanghua International Airport Transfers (CSX) for Downtown Zhangjiajie or Wulingyuan District: $186
  • Private Transfers Between Xiamen City and Gaobei Tulou Cluster & Chuxi Tulou Cluster: $186
  • Private Transfers between Dongguan and Hong Kong : $159
  • Private City Transfers Between Xiamen and Zhangzhou Volcanic Island Resort: $147
  • Private Transfers Between Xiamen City and Yongding Tulou: $147
  • Private Transfer Between Xiamen City and Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster & Yun Shui Yao Ancient Town: $147

Typical Local Transportation prices in Kunming

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kunming

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

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • Transfer from Kunming Changshui International Airport to Kunming: $68
  • Shared Shenzhen Airport (SZX) Coach Transfers for Hong Kong (Trans-Island): $12
  • Shared Hong Kong International Airport Transfers (HKG) for Shenzhen: $15
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shunde and Hong Kong: $14
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Shenzhen Bay Port and Hong Kong (Trans-island): $6.45
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Panyu and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $11
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Hong Kong and Huadu by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong by Eternal East Bus: $13
  • Shared Coach Transfers between Foshan and Hong Kong: $14

Is it cheaper to fly into Lhasa or Kunming?

Prices for flights to both Kunming 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 Kunming, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $16 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lhasa $15
    Kunming $16

Tours and Activities in Lhasa

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 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 Days Shanghai Private Tour: $178
  • 2-Day Gyantse and Shigatse Tour from Lhasa: $359
  • 2-Day Lake Namtso Experience Small-Group Tour from Lhasa: $353

Tours and Activities in Kunming

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 1 Day Experience Kunming Local's Life:Ultimate Discovery of Kunming City&Markets: $163
  • 1 Day Stone Forest & Jiuxiang Cave Tour: $196
  • 1 day Stone Forest & Guandu Ancient Town Tour: $217
  • 1 day Tour to Kunming - Puzhehei - Kunming: $262
  • 1- Day Kunming Short Hiking Tour: $122
  • 1-Day Civil Culture Tour in Kunming: $112
  • 1-Day Dali tour from Kunming by Round-way Bullet Train: $320
  • 1-Day Dinosaur Tour in Kunming: $144
  • 1-Day Dongchuan Red Land Photography Private Tour from Kunming: $269
  • 1-Day Kunming Culture Tour: $156
  • 1-Day Kunming Scenery Tour: $122

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Lhasa spend on average $6.21 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 Kunming, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $16.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lhasa $6.21
    Kunming $16


When comparing the travel costs between Lhasa and Kunming, we can see that Lhasa 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Lhasa vs. Kunming Travel Comparison

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