A Travel Price Comparison for China Taiyuan vs. Lijiang for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Taiyuan or Lijiang?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Taiyuan and Lijiang. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Taiyuan or Lijiang?

Taiyuan

With sleek architectural designs and blossoming businesses, this metropolis is simply brimming with invigorating excitement and once-in-a-lifetime entertainment. Despite its glimmering skyscrapers and gorgeous fountains, Taiyuan, China has an extensive history of nearly 2,500 years. During ancient China, Taiyuan, or the "Dragon City," was a major military town. Presently, this city is now one of China's most important industrial cities, producing more than half of the national coal mining output. Taiyuan is both the capital and largest city of the Shanxi province of North China. It is bounded by mountains on three of its sides, allowing this great city to be surrounded by fantastic views of its landscape. Besides its economic significance, Taiyuan also achieves tourist significance due to its plethora of landmarks and sights. Some of these attractions include Jinci Temple, Forest Park, Mengshan Giant Buddha, and Shanxi Museum. Taiyuan is also celebrated internationally for holding their annual Shanxi Taiyuan International Folk Arts Festival, a celebration held in September that hosts exhibition of fine arts, painting, paper-cutting, sculpture, drama, acrobatic and the culture of costume. With such a great deal to do in such a limited window of time, it is best to make the most Taiyuan while you visit!

Lijiang

Lijiang is a city in Southwestern China with a history of rule under the Mu family during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It played a key role along the Ancient Southern Silk Road, which started from Burma, crossed Lijiang, Shangri-La County, Tibet, journeyed through Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea. The area was once a center for trade, politics, culture, and education, which is still evident in the rich culture seen today. Lijiang has also been the home of centuries to the Naxi people who still inhabit the area.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to China, The Best Tours for Seniors to China, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Beijing, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Lhasa.


Which place is cheaper, Lijiang or Taiyuan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taiyuan is $90, while the average daily cost in Lijiang is $41. 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 Taiyuan and Lijiang in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taiyuan $42
    Lijiang $16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taiyuan $84
    Lijiang $32
Compare Hotels in Taiyuan and Lijiang

Looking for a hotel in Taiyuan or Lijiang? 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 Taiyuan


Hotels in Lijiang


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.
    Taiyuan $47
    Lijiang $5.59

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lijiang

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

  • Private Transfer from Lijiang/Shuhe hotel to Shangri-la(Diqing) hotel: $149
  • Private Transfer from Lijiang/Shuhe hotel to Dali : $149
  • Lijiang Sanyi International Airport Chauffeur Service,Lijiang Airport Transfer: $57

Is it cheaper to fly into Taiyuan or Lijiang?

Prices for flights to both Lijiang and Taiyuan 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
    Taiyuan $20
    Lijiang $17

Typical Food Prices in Lijiang

For Lijiang, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lijiang

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

  • Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit: $59

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taiyuan $15
    Lijiang $20

Tours and Activities in Lijiang

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

  • 1 Day Private Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Lijiang or Dali: $165
  • 1 Day Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour from Lijiang or Shangri-La: $170
  • 1 day Lijiang Highlights Mini Group Tour: $203
  • 1-Day Private Tour to Lijiang Highlights: $297
  • 2 Days Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour by public coach: $189
  • 2-Days Self-Guided tour from Lijiang to Dali and overnight in Shaxi old town: $212
  • 4 Hour Private Lijiang City Highlights Walking Tour: $72
  • All Inclusive Private Day Tour to Shaxi Ancient Town from Lijiang: $221
  • Beautiful Country road Biking tour to Xinhua village Heqing start from Lijiang: $173
  • Flexible Lijiang City Highlights Private Day Tour with Lunch: $208
  • Half-Day Private Tour Tiger Leaping Gorge in Lijiang : $106
  • Lijiang Sanyi airport (LJG) Pick up and Tiger Teaping Gorge Private Tour : $186

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taiyuan $6.32
    Lijiang $7.87


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

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


Which is Bigger, Taiyuan or Lijiang?

Taiyuan has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Lijiang. When comparing the sizes of Taiyuan and Lijiang, 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.