I am planning a six month trip around China with my girlfriend later this year. Can anyone give me a rough idea of costs, considering my girlfriend is Chinese and is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese?
We will be backpacking and eating local food, travelling predomintantly on local transport and we are happy to stay in basic double rooms.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
I'm jealous of having 6 months to do the trip. I go to china every year but can only manage a month at a time away from work.
As for costs, you can probably do quite well as long as you stay out of the major cities and tourist sites. Having a mandarin speaker along will really help, although I don't often get ripped off (for being a foreigner), you can probably find cheaper places with a native speaker. I would think a good meal, nothing fancy, should cost 25-50 yuan, that's about 3-7 dollars. double rooms might range from 30-100 yuan per night in a non-fancy place. Actual hotels could be had for 150-300 yuan, depending where you are. Shanghai and Beijing prices are approaching western prices for any hotel with star ratings. Local buses are dirt cheap. Trains are fairly cheap and more comfortable. You may want to splash out every so often for a sleeper car....great stuff. I did an overnight Beijing to Yichang this summer for about 300 yuan in a sleeper car. Generally things get cheaper the further from the coast and big cities you get.
It is wise for you to travel China as backpackers. I can tell you honestly that travelling through China is not very expensive. Certainly, various luxurious things with world-brands can be found in every large or medium sized city, like Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen and so on. However, if you come here just for experience, for travelling, take it easy, you need not worry about the cost. For accommodation, there's a lot of Youth Hotels especially for backpackers and those who have no fixed itinerary. The price is much lower than general hotel, while, the envirnment is ok. The rooms are very clean, and without any hitch to sherf online. For food, China is place to enjoy diverse cuisines. Every city has special food to taste. The price is also OK if you do not choose those luxury restaurants. And for souvenir for friends and relatives, since your girlfriend is Chinese, she can have a bargin with those stand sellers and you can get many souvenirs at lower price. -snip-
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