China travel budget

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1. Posted by tcjohans (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I am planning a trip to mainland China for a few months. I wonder what approximate budget I should plan per month. I normally travel low-budget, i.e. stay at budget hotels, use regular bus or train for inland travels, go to regular, local eateries for food, etc.



2. Posted by Thi_travel (Budding Member 27 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Thomas,
According to my own experience of travelling in China as a low budget backpacker, I spent this much daily: 3-5 USD/night on accommodation, 3 - 5 USD/day on food, 10 - 20 USD/day on transportation (hard seats on trains, public bus), 10 - 20 USD/day for sightseeing tickets, about 5 USD/day for extra things. so, it was about 40 - 50 USD/day.

Be noted that you may spend much on transportation (far distances, so take night train or sleeper bus to save accommodation) and on entrance fees to attractions (bring your student card for good discount if you have one).

Good luck and have a great trip.


3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

As far as I know, it also depends on where you go. I spent a month in the South West in Guilin and Yunnan, and found it to be as cheap as Thailand. You can get by quite well on $30-40 a day. As far as I know, the East coast becomes quite a bit more expensive, and places like Hong Kong can be as expensive as the West.

4. Posted by tcjohans (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thank you for these replies! For some reason I imagined foreigners had to pay special, higher rates - this is what I used to hear about China in the past - but I guess this has changed now then.



5. Posted by nanwangyee (Budding Member 7 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

i live in chengdu .it is southwest city of travel in china ,i think the price is the sme with local people ,but if you go to tibet,you have to get permit, say you want know how much your buget in can decide,according where you will go ,how long .what sort hostel or traspotation.if you want to ask more,you can seed e-mail to me . [Ed: E-mail address removed]

[ Edit: No e-mail address allowed. Please use private messaging. ]

6. Posted by elephanta (Budding Member 8 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Thomas, yeh, the special fee for foreigners has been mostly abandoned (i guess there are many obvious reasons for that!) but don't be surprised to find a few places still charging you more for admission because you are not Chinese. It takes a while for things to change. You always have the choice to take a picture outside of the place and walk away. I think Thi has a pretty well-applied estimation for you in terms of cost and in rural areas, you can get below that $30-40 budget easily and in places like Beijing or Shanghai, you can go above quite a bit as well.

I have known people travelling to my country complaining much about street vendors trying all means to sell things(literally grabbing you with their arms), so be very strong willed if you don't want to buy many things on the way. Don't talk or bargin if you are not very interested.

Enjoy your trip and just ask if you have any other questions!

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by China2006 (Budding Member 32 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Thomas,
I am a travel enthusiast and as far as I know, the cost in traveling in China is not very high. Last month I have a trip in Guilin, a southern city with many ethnic minorities and beautiful lanscape.
It took me four days. It cost me 500dollars,including meals, accomodation and trsportation fee around the trip.
Guilin is a worthwhile trip in China and also a budget trip.

9. Posted by rifarrel (Budding Member 34 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

China ( except for Hong Kong and Macau ) is cheap , generally speaking for accomodation.The further south you go, the cheaper it gets.Accomodation rates in hostels ( on my trip) varied from 55 yuan in Shanghai and Beijing down to 15 yuan in Chengdu and Kunming.
You have to bargain everywhere for eveything.Generally you should only pay at markets about 15 or 20 % of the asking price.Even in department stores in cities outside Beijing/ Shanghai and Xian, you should also bargain. In a major dept store in Chengdu , I got a 60 % reduction in the asking price after walking off a few times!!
Transport is dirt cheap- hard sleeper is ideal for long distance journeys and it's defintely an experience.Eating in local restaurants is really cheap as well but restaurants with English menus are generally more expensive, but still cheap.

When you're there just remember that they will always try and get as much money out of you as possible ,so you have to make sure that you're not ripped- off by always bargaining, even for bottles of water!!

10. Posted by mdancy (Full Member 104 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Excellent advice from everyone. I would like to give you one more thought - do your research on when it's best to go. Our trip through China was much more expensive than we planned because we traveled there duing one of their biggest holidays! We were there starting in early May - hardly any decent rooms, and what we did find was expensive. The trains were booked up too, but for the most part we were able to travel when we wanted without too much compromise.