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

Should you visit Mount Kailash or Zhangye?

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

Should I visit Mount Kailash or Zhangye? 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 Zhangye?

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.

Zhangye

Zhangye, China is a city in the Gansu Province in the central north part of the country, close to Mongolia. This ancient city has often been used as a military strong hold, having been the headquarters of General Huo among many others. Zhangye is a fabulous day trip city to visit when staying in larger nearby cities.

Zhangye is privy to beautiful summer weather, with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the high 70's Fahrenheit. The best times to visit are between July and September, when temperatures and sunshine are at their highest. Autumn, Winter, and Spring tend to be a little chillier and rainier.

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, Zhangye 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 Zhangye is $85. 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 Zhangye in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mount Kailash $27
    Zhangye $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mount Kailash $54
    Zhangye $76
Compare Hotels in Mount Kailash and Zhangye

Looking for a hotel in Mount Kailash or Zhangye? 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 Zhangye


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
    Zhangye $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zhangye

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zhangye:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Zhangye Airport (YZY) to Zhangye Hotel: $59
  • Private Airport Transfer: Zhangye Hotel to Zhangye Airport (YZY): $59

Is it cheaper to fly into Mount Kailash or Zhangye?

Prices for flights to both Zhangye 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 $25
    Zhangye $25

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mount Kailash $16
    Zhangye $10

Tours and Activities in Zhangye

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

  • Zhangye One Day City Tour: $77
  • Private day tour to Zhangye Danxia Landform the Rainbow Mountain: $150
  • Private day tour to Zhangye Mati temple & Giant Buddha Temple start from Zhangye: $155
  • Zhangye Danxia Half Day tour: $195
  • Zhangye Rainbow Danxia Private Day Tour: $214
  • Private Hiking Tour: Pingshanhu Grand Canyon and the Horse Hoof Temple Grottoes: $235
  • Private Day Tour: Horse Hoof Temple Grottoes and Zhangye Danxia Landform: $299
  • Private Hiking Tour: Binggou Danxia and Zhangye Danxia Geopark from Zhangye: $299

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mount Kailash $2.77
    Zhangye $6.92


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

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 Zhangye Expensive?.


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