Should you visit Xi'an or Shangri-La?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Xi'an and Shangri-La can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Xi'an is an ancient city in the Shaanxi Province in China. Today it is most notable as the location of the Terracotta Warriors, but for visitors who choose to linger, there is so much more to see and do in the area. The city itself is more than 3,000 years old and for about one thousand years, through 13 dynasties and 73 emperors, it was the capital. Because of its rich history there are many historical ruins and a strong culture in the city. Today the city is a pleasant place to visit, although much of it's influence and power has dwindled. The city has both cosmopolitan and modern areas as well as historic and culturally rich areas. The neighborhoods are diverse and by exploring the city in depth you can learn a little more about what China really has to offer.
The original Shangri-La existed in the fictional world of James Hilton's novel "The Lost Horizon." It was a hidden paradise, a place so beautiful that it couldn't possibly exist on earth. The Shangri-La that exists in Yunnan, China today was renamed from its former title Zhongdian in 2001 in order to associate the place with the mystical allure created in Hilton's novel. Visitors come to admire the traditional monasteries and temples set against a backdrop of mountain preserves and pristine lakes.
Which city is cheaper, Shangri-La or Xi'an?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Xi'an is $83, while the average daily cost in Shangri-La 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Xi'an and Shangri-La in more detail.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Xi'an is $106. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $16. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Shangri-La the cost is $32 on average.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $10 per day to get around in Xi'an.
The average price of local transportation around Shangri-La is $9.11 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.
Is it cheaper to fly into Xi'an or Shangri-La?
Prices for flights to both Shangri-La and Xi'an 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.
In Xi'an travelers spend around $11 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
The average traveler spends about $16 per day in Shangri-La 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.
Meals for one day
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $31 per person, per day in Xi'an. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Shangri-La's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 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.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Xi'an may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.34 per day on alcoholic beverages.
The average person spends about $11 on alcoholic beverages in Shangri-La per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Xi'an and Shangri-La, we can see that Xi'an is more expensive. And not only is Shangri-La much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Shangri-La would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Shangri-La 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 Xi'an would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Xi'an than you might in Shangri-La.
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