A Travel Price Comparison for China Mount Kailash vs. Harbin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Mount Kailash or Harbin?

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

Should I visit Mount Kailash or Harbin? 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: Mount Kailash or Harbin?

Mount Kailash

The main point of entry to Mount Kailash is a small village called Darchen. Once an important sheep station for nomads and their flocks, the village has now grown to provide for the pilgrims wishing to embark towards Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. It contains a number of guest houses and restaurants as well as a hotel where pilgrims must get permission from the Public Security Bureau to make the trek around the mountain. Also in the village are a handful of small stores and kiosks, as well as some grounds for camping. It is about 330 km (a one-day bus drive) from the town of Shiquanhe to the northeast, where Gunsa Airport is located, offering flights twice a week to Lhasa and Chengdu.

Harbin

Harbin, China is the northernmost major city in the country, with a population of over 10 million. Harbin was founded in 1897 by Russia, which has resulted in a lot of Russian influence throughout the city and many Russian citizens. The city is most famous for their annual International Snow and Ice Festival, a two-month-long festival running from January through February of each year.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to China, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in China, The Best Historical Tours in China, and The Best 10-Day Tours in China.


Which place is cheaper, Harbin or Mount Kailash?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mount Kailash is $71, while the average daily cost in Harbin 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 Mount Kailash and Harbin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mount Kailash $27
    Harbin $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mount Kailash $54
    Harbin $42
Compare Hotels in Mount Kailash and Harbin

Looking for a hotel in Mount Kailash or Harbin? 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 Mount Kailash


Hotels in Harbin


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.
    Mount Kailash $31
    Harbin $1.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Harbin

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

  • Private Departure Transfer:City Hotel to Any Harbin Railway Station : $25
  • Harbin Airport (HRB) : Private Arrival Transfer with Meet & Greet Service: $32
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $27
  • Harbin Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer: $40
  • Harbin Catholic Church Car Transfer Service: $80
  • Harbin City Car Transfer Service with Driver: $168
  • Harbin Private Transfer from Harbin Airport (HRB) to central Harbin: $115
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service , Harbin Airport Transfer,Pick up: $78
  • Harbin Taiping Airport Chauffeur Service, Harbin Airport Transfer, Pick up.: $59
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Harbin West Railway Station to Harbin City Hotel: $65
  • Private Arrival Transfer to China's Snow Town from Harbin HRB Airport: $149

Is it cheaper to fly into Mount Kailash or Harbin?

Prices for flights to both Harbin and Mount Kailash 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
    Mount Kailash $24
    Harbin $14

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Harbin

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

  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World with Dinner Options: $261
  • Private Full Day Tour to Harbin Beifang Forest Zoo and Optional Seafood Dinner: $261

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mount Kailash $15
    Harbin $52

Tours and Activities in Harbin

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

  • Half Day Tour for Harbin Guandong Ancient Lane and Wood Sculpture Museum: $104
  • Private Harbin Ice Lantern Show at Zhaolin Park Night Tour with Zhongyang Pedestrian Street: $104
  • 1-Day Harbin Private Tour: $130
  • 4-Hour Private Tour of the Largest Indoor Ice and Snow Paradise: $136
  • Private Half Day City Tour including Russian Town and Harbin Ropeway Ride: $150
  • Harbin City Guided Tour to Zhongyang Street and Sophia Church: $180
  • Harbin City Walking Sightseeing : $198
  • Small Group Night Tour to Harbin Ice and Snow World: $198
  • Harbin Ice Festival New Year Eve Countdown Group Tour on December 31: $200
  • Small Group Tour to Harbin Siberian Park Tiger: $200
  • Harbin City Private Day Tour in Your Way in Winter Season: $200
  • Private Half Day Tour to Unit 731 Museum in Harbin: $209

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mount Kailash $2.76
    Harbin $7.83


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

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


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