A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Luang Prabang vs. Shanghai for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Luang Prabang or Shanghai?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Luang Prabang or Shanghai, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Luang Prabang

Southeast Asia is a region full of mystical wonders and cultural charm, but nowhere is as charming as the city of Luang Prabang. As the former capital of Laos, Luang Prabang was reopened to tourism in 1989. With that move the city experienced an upswing in revenue and was able to restore and rebuild the beautiful colonial mansions to serve as guesthouses and hotels for the new swarm of tourists.

Shanghai

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".

Which city is cheaper, Shanghai or Luang Prabang?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Luang Prabang is $25, while the average daily cost in Shanghai is $103. 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 Luang Prabang and Shanghai in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Luang Prabang can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $10, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $20.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $146 for a double occupancy room in Shanghai.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Luang Prabang $10
    Shanghai $73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Luang Prabang $20
    Shanghai $146

Food

Luang Prabang food costs typically run travelers around $9.62 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 $19 per day in Shanghai 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
    Luang Prabang $9.62
    Shanghai $19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Luang Prabang

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

  • Cooking Class: $35
  • Authentic Lao Cooking Experience in Luang Prabang: $38
  • Luang Prang Cooking Class: $40
  • Day-time Bamboo weaving & Cooking Classes join-in: $40
  • Evening Bamboo weaving & Cooking classes join-in: $42
  • Mekong River Dinner Cruise: $43
  • Skip the Line: Traditional Lao Night - Dinner, Music & Dance Show Ticket: $45
  • Half Day bamboo weaving & Cooking classes with the visit to morning market: $49
  • Home-cooked dinner & Baci ceremony with Villagers in Ban Nasang: $51
  • Lao Cooking Class in Luang Prabang: $57
  • Traditional Market Tour and Private Laotian Cooking Class with a Local: $57
  • Luang Prabang Bamboo Weaving and Cooking Class: $65

Typical Food prices in Shanghai

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


  • Dumpling Breakfast
    $1.55
  • Desserts in Jinmao Building Observatory
    $23
  • Ajisen Lunch for Two
    $8.07
  • Cantelope
    $1.86
  • Dumplings and Soup
    $2.33
  • Duck Dinner
    $4.66
  • Pastries
    $3.26
  • Barbeque Dinner
    $9.93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Shanghai

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

  • Online Chinese Cooking Class: $22
  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Old Shanghai Breakfast Food Tour: $52
  • Cooking Class of Dumplings and Chinese Buns: $56
  • 3-Hour Shanghai Summer Night Local Dinner and Shopping Private Tour: $65
  • Private Chinese Cooking Class in Shanghai with Vegetarian Option: $69
  • Private Authentic Chinese Cooking Class in Shanghai with a Lovely Local: $70
  • 3-Hour Shanghai City Walking Tour with Dinner: $74
  • Shanghai yummy food tour: $75
  • Chinese Cooking Class in a Family Home: $75
  • 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

Local Transportation

To get around in Luang Prabang, the average visitor spends $3.73 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The average price of local transportation around Shanghai is $3.48 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Luang Prabang $3.73
    Shanghai $3.48
Typical Local Transportation prices in Luang Prabang

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Luang Prabang are as follows:


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $5.20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Luang Prabang

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

  • Shared Departure Transfer from Hotel to Luang Prabang Airport: $6.67
  • Shared Wattay International Airport Transfers (VTE) for Vientiane: $7.00
  • Airport transfer from Hotel in Luang Prabang to Airport: $9.30
  • Shared City Transfers between Vientiane and Vang Vieng: $12
  • Luang Prabang Airport Transfers (LPQ) for Luang Prabang: $12
  • Luang Prabang Private Airport transfer services: $14
  • Shared City Transfers between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang: $14
  • Shared City Transfers between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng: $14
  • Private Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) Transfers for Luang Prabang: $15
  • Private Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) Transfer for Luang Prabang: $16
  • Private Wattay International Airport (VTE) Transfers for Vientiane by Laos Smile: $17
  • Private transfer to Tad Sae Waterfalls: $20

Typical Local Transportation prices in Shanghai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.03
  • Two Subway Tickets
    $0.93

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Shanghai

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Shanghai:

  • Private Day tour of Xi'an From Shanghai Including Transfer Service: $1,100
  • Private Mutianyu Great Wall Tour From Shanghai's Hotel Including Transfer: $1,100
  • Private Beijing One Day Tour From Shanghai 's Hotel Including Transfer Service: $1,036
  • Private Day Tour Of Beijing From Shanghai's Hotel Including Flight And Transfer: $1,000
  • Private Day Trip Of Xi'an From Your Shanghai's hotel Including Transfer Service: $1,000
  • 2-Day Huangshan Tour by Cable Car with Private Transfer and Lunch from Shanghai: $653
  • 3 Days Shanghai Suzhou Tour Package with Airport Transfer: $555
  • 1-way Transfer Between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Yiwu Per Vehicle Price: $388
  • Shanghai Luxury Airport Transfer: $332
  • 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

Is it cheaper to fly into Luang Prabang or Shanghai?

Prices for flights to both Shanghai and Luang Prabang 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

In Luang Prabang, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $4.81 per person, per day.

Shanghai's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.58 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Luang Prabang $4.81
    Shanghai $7.58

Tours and Activities in Luang Prabang

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

  • Kuang Si Waterfall Shared Minibus Ticket (Round Trip) : $6.00
  • Slow Boat ticket to Pakbeng - Houay xay: $6.42
  • Shuttle Bus ticket to Kuang Si Waterfalls: $7.00
  • Tham Xang and Tham Nam Cave Experience: $17
  • Vang Vieng Adventure: $17
  • Mekong Sunset Cruise from Luang Prabang: $18
  • Tham Nam Cave Adventure: $19
  • 5 April Shooting Range Experience in Vientiane: $22
  • Morning Alms Giving Experience: $23
  • Vang Vieng Bike Tour: $23
  • Guided Meditation Experience by Orange Robe Tours: $23
  • Alms Giving Experience & Kuang Si Waterfall: $24

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
    $31
  • Zoo for Two
    $16

Tours and Activities in Shanghai

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

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 1 Day Bus Tour in Amazing Shanghai Highlights: $113
  • 1 Day Hangzhou Private Tour: $312
  • 1 Day Shanghai Airport Layover Private Tour for City Highlights: $202
  • 1 Day Shanghai Highlight Small Group Tour: $124
  • 1 Day of Shanghai Premiere Experience: $730
  • 1 day Nanjing tour from Shanghai by train: $400
  • 1 day Shanghai City Mini Group tour: $92
  • 1-Day Authentic Shanghai Tour by Walking & Metro: $193
  • 1-Day Private Shanghai City Tour to See Its Past, Present and Future: $204
  • 1-Day Private Shanghai to Wuzhen Tour to Admire the Classical Water Town: $271
  • 1-Day Private Tour to Hangzhou by car from Shanghai: $305

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Luang Prabang, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $3.21.

The average person spends about $6.61 on alcoholic beverages in Shanghai per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Luang Prabang $3.21
    Shanghai $6.61

Sample the Local Flavors in Shanghai

Also in Shanghai, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Shanghai Luxury Bar Crawl in 5-star Hotel or Boutique Hotel: $255
  • 3 Hour Local Craft Beer Crawl with Brewery Tour: $350


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

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Luang Prabang vs. Shanghai Travel Comparison

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