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

Should you visit Lhasa or Pingyao?

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

Should I visit Lhasa or Pingyao? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Lhasa or Pingyao?

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.

Pingyao

Pingyao is a small city in the Shanxi Province of China, dating back over 2700 years. The city is most famous for their old town, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town is one of the best preserved ancient walled cities in the world dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The climate in Pingyao is influenced by monsoons, and therefore gets hot and humid summers and chillier springs. Autumn is a great time to visit as temperatures are fairly mild-in the 50-60's Fahrenheit- and you can avoid the heavy rains of summer. Winter is also a pleasant time to visit, especially since temperatures tend not to dip below 30 and there is not much snow or bad weather.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in China, The Best Cultural Tours in China, The Best Luxury Tours to China, and The Best Budget Tours to China.


Which place is cheaper, Pingyao or Lhasa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lhasa is $71, while the average daily cost in Pingyao is $54. 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 Lhasa and Pingyao in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lhasa $39
    Pingyao $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lhasa $78
    Pingyao $46
Compare Hotels in Lhasa and Pingyao

Looking for a hotel in Lhasa or Pingyao? 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 Lhasa


Hotels in Pingyao


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.
    Lhasa $2.56
    Pingyao $13

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: $170
  • Lhasa Kongga Airport Chauffeur Service, Lhasa Airport Transfer, Pickup: $260

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Pingyao

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


  • Taxi to Train Station
    $1.38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pingyao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Pingyao:

  • Privater Transfer from Datong to Pingyao with driver: $115
  • Private Transfer Servcie to Mianshan (Mian Mountain) from Pingyao: $60
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer Service to Wutaishan from Pingyao: $190

Is it cheaper to fly into Lhasa or Pingyao?

Prices for flights to both Pingyao 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Lhasa $26
    Pingyao $19

Typical Food Prices in Pingyao

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


  • Casual Lunch (for 2)
    $4.97
  • Mango Juice
    $0.69

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lhasa $17
    Pingyao $18

Tours and Activities in Lhasa

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

  • 6 days Classical Tibet Private Tour to Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse.: $84
  • 4 Days Lhasa City Essence Tour: $644
  • 4 Days Lhasa City Tibet Tour included Permit issued: $760
  • Private Full-Day Tour w/ Lunch: $800
  • 5 Days Classic Lhasa Tour with Yamdrok Lake in Tibet: $999
  • Tibet Overland Tour - 08 Days: $1,440
  • Nepal Tibet Tour 8 Days: $2,722

Typical Entertainment Prices in Pingyao

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


  • All Day Bike Rental (for 2)
    $2.76
  • Temple Entrance Fee (for 2)
    $6.90
  • Bike Parking Fee (for 2)
    $0.55

Tours and Activities in Pingyao

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

  • 1-Day Pingyao Ancient Town Sightseeing Walking Tour: $113
  • 1-Day Pingyao tour to Wang Family's Compound and Zhangbi Ancient Fortress : $206
  • 2-Hour Guided Private Bike Tour to see the Hidden Pingyao & Tea Break: $60
  • 3-Hour Private Walking Tour of Pingyao Highlights: $125
  • All Inclusive Pingyao Private Tour to Qiao Family Compound and Shuanglin Temple: $142
  • By bullet train from Beijing to Pingyao 2days tour &Lunch: $490
  • Day tour to Wang Family Compound shuanglin temple &zhangbi castle: $210
  • Half-Day Private Walking Tour of Pingyao Ancient City: $65
  • Mian Mountain Private Day Tour From Pingyao: $188
  • One Day Tour Exploration of Pingyao Old Town and Wang Family Mansion: $183
  • Pingyao Ancient City Full-Day Walking Tour: $129
  • Pingyao Day Tour: Wang Family Mansion and Zhangbi Ancient Castle: $132

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lhasa $6.90
    Pingyao $13


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Lhasa and Pingyao, we can see that Lhasa is more expensive. And not only is Pingyao much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Pingyao would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Pingyao 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 Pingyao.

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


Which is Bigger, Lhasa or Pingyao?

Lhasa has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Pingyao. When comparing the sizes of Lhasa and Pingyao, 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.