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

Should you visit Lhasa or Xiamen?

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

Should I visit Lhasa or Xiamen? 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 Xiamen?


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.


Xiamen is a coastal city in the Fujian Province of China and has been a major port city and gateway to China for centuries. This vibrant and modern city was named the most livable city in the world in 2002 and one of the first cities to be named a Special Economic Zone. Xiamen is best known for being home to Gulangyu Island, a beautiful island full of historic colonial buildings and lovely walking paths.

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, Xiamen 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 Xiamen is $64. 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 Xiamen in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lhasa $39
    Xiamen $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lhasa $78
    Xiamen $62
Compare Hotels in Lhasa and Xiamen

Looking for a hotel in Lhasa or Xiamen? 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 Xiamen

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 $2.57
    Xiamen $5.99

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Xiamen

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

  • Xiamen Private Departure Transfer: City Hotel to Railway Station: $20
  • Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport Chauffeur Service ,Xiamen Airport Transfer: $47
  • Xiamen Gaoqi Airport Private Transfer to Local Railway Station : $19
  • Private Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport Transfers in Xiamen City: $12
  • Private Xiamen Gaoqi Airport Departure Transfer from City Areas: $33
  • Private Xiamen Gaoqi Airport Arrival Transfer to City Area: $30
  • Private Transfer to Tianluokeng Tulou and HongKeng Hakka Tulou from Xiamen City : $98
  • Private Transfer to Tianluokeng Tulou and Hekeng Hakka Tulou from Xiamen City : $98
  • Private Transfer to Hongkeng Tulou and Yunshuiyao Village from Xiamen City: $98
  • Private Transfer from Xiamen North Railway Station to City Area: $19
  • Private Transfer from Railway Station to Xiamen City: $10
  • Private Transfer between Xiamen City and Tianluokeng Tulou Village: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Lhasa or Xiamen?

Prices for flights to both Xiamen 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 Meals for one day
    Lhasa $26
    Xiamen $26

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lhasa $17
    Xiamen $16

Tours and Activities in Lhasa

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

  • 4 Days Lhasa City Essence Tour: $745
  • 4 Days Lhasa City Tibet Tour included Permit issued: $760
  • 5 Days Classic Lhasa Tour with Yamdrok Lake in Tibet: $999
  • From Kathmandu: Everest Base Camp Motorcycle Tour: $6,244
  • Private Full-Day Tour w/ Lunch: $800
  • Nepal Tibet Tour 8 Days: $2,729

Tours and Activities in Xiamen

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

  • Fujian Tulou Private Day Tour to World Heritage Site Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster: $178
  • Xiamen Private One Day Tailor Made Tour with Gulangyu and City Highlights : $176
  • 1-Day Xiamen City Highlights and Gulangyu Island Private Tour: $244
  • 4-Hour Xiamen Private Local Food Market Experience: $103
  • 4-Hour Xiamen Private Shore Excursion Tour in Your Way: $121
  • 4-hour Xiamen Private Flexible Tour in Your Way: $113
  • A Night Tour to Xiamen Gulang Island: $100
  • Day Tour to Admire the Panorama of Gulangyu Island and Visit the Precious Birds: $110
  • Dongshan Island Highlights Full-Day Private Tour: $232
  • Flexible Private Xiamen Layover Tour with Meal: $176
  • Flexible Xiamen Private Half Day Tour with Meal Option: $109
  • Fujian Hakka Tulou Private Day Tour of Tianluokeng and Daping Lou: $194

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lhasa $6.91
    Xiamen $17

When comparing the travel costs between Lhasa and Xiamen, 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.

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

Which is Bigger, Lhasa or Xiamen?

Xiamen has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Lhasa. When comparing the sizes of Lhasa and Xiamen, 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.