Cost of Travel: One month in China

When planning any trip, I like to find out exact costs of everything I could possibly spend. We are always search for the cost of travel, especially when we visited China.

From flights to food, transport to a cup of tea and everything in-between. So after travelling around China for a month, I thought someone out there may appreciate a cost breakdown of our trip.

Before we go any further though, I want to explain that we are a young couple who travel comfortably whilst on a budget. We are not the most frugal of travellers but we aim to travel in comfort with some luxuries, to make our time travelling extra special.

So here is the cost of travel in China!

Note: Prices are for two people unless otherwise stated and are stated in US Dollars.

Thinking about moving to Beijing? Check out this awesome cost of living in Beijing!

long journey

Day 1 – Our trip started in Hong Kong.

Hotel: Dorsett Wanchai (formerly known as The Cosmopolitan) $170 per night
Breakfast: Two bottles of water and two toasties from 7/11   $6
Bus to The Peak: $0.29 pp
Tram up to The Peak: adult fare $11.30 pp  ($22.60)
Views of skyline: Priceless (had to add a bit of cheese!)
Lunch: Stir fried Beef Noodles, french toast, frappuccino and a diet coke $14
Hong Kong Park: Free
St John’s Cathedral: Free
Dinner: A selection of Dim Sum for two with water $24

Hong Kong is expensive!

Day 2 – Hong Kong

Hotel: Dorsett Wanchai (formerly known as The Cosmopolitan) $170 per night
Breakfast: Water and bakery snack from 7/11 $4
Bus to Central: $0.29 pp ($0.58)
Man Mo Temple: Free
Street food from market for two: $6
Dinner: Two course, sit down meal for two, including a pint of beer and a glass of wine $38

Day 3 – Hong Kong

Hotel: Dorsett Wanchai (formerly known as The Cosmopolitan) $170 per night
Brunch: Breakfast dish pp with juice $8
Star Ferry: Free
Avenue of Stars: Free
Hong Kong Space Museum: Free
Dinner: WonTon Soup Noodles from a street vendor $3.80pp
MTR from Tsim Sha Tsui Station to Wan Chai $1.20pp

Day 4 – Hong Kong

Brunch: Chinese dishes with fizzy drinks $6
Bus to The Peak $0.29 pp ($0.58)
Tram up to The Peak for the sunset adult fare $11.30 pp  ($22.60)
Taxi back to the hotel $10.30
Dinner: Burger King meal for two people $11

Cost of travel: One month in China

Day 5 – Hong Kong

Today we were sick, meaning we drank many litres of water from the nearby 7/11 and managed to eat some snacks from the store during the evening – totalling $12.

Day 6 – Macau

Hotel: The Venetian Hotel Macau $155 per night (we splurged)
Hong Kong hotel to ferry transport: $8 for taxi
Breakfast: Two Smoothies for $4
Ferry to Macau: $20 pp
Transfer to The Venetian hotel: Free
Dinner: Bolognese, soft drinks and gelato for two $50

WIN: We won $740 HK$ – about $95 USD

Cost of travel: One month in China
Cost of travel: One month in China

Day 7 – Macau

Hotel: The Venetian Hotel Macau $155 per night
Breakfast: Room Service English breakfast $30 for two
The Titanic Exhibition: $15.90 pp
Skywalk around the Macau Tower:  $98 pp – Another big splurge for a fantastic experience
Drinks: A pint of beer and a pint of cider in The Venetian Hotel $4 pp
Dinner: Pizza, caprese and soft drinks from food court in ground floor of hotel $17.20

Day 8 – Chengdu

Hotel: A private double room in Sam’s Guesthouse Hostel $20.50
Breakfast: Croissants from Venetian Bakery $6
Shuttle bus and Ferry from Macau to airport: $14 pp
Flight from Hong Kong to Chengdu: $90 pp
Lunch: Pizza Express with Peroni beer at the Hong Kong Airport $34 (Don’t judge!)
Taxi from Chengdu Airport to hotel: $4
Dinner: Snacks from convenience store (we arrived late!) $6

Day 9 – Chengdu

Hotel: A private double room in Sam’s Guesthouse Hostel $20.50
Breakfast: Noodles from nearby noodle bar $1.80 for two
Hostels private day trip to Panda Base (including admission): $22
Lunch: Starbucks coffee and panini for two (again, don’t judge!): $9
Dinner: A large selection of Chinese dishes for two $9

Cost of travel: One month in China

Day 10 – Chengdu

Hotel: A private double room in Sam’s Guesthouse Hostel $20.50
Breakfast: Scrambled egg on toast in hostel $1 per person
Hostels private day trip to the Leshan Buddha, including entrance: $50 (this place is a few hours away from Chengdu)
Lunch: Sweet and sour chicken, crispy pork and rice to share: $6
Dinner: Chinese dishes from the hostels restaurant $4

Day 11 – Yangtze River

Hotel: Victoria Cruise boat $359pp for whole trip, food included.
Brunch: Snacks from convenience store: $4
Metro from Hostel to Chengdu train station: $1
Chengdu to Chongqing speed train: $13 pp.
Cream for a swollen arm thanks to a bite: $4.50
Dinner: Food included on the boat.

Day 12 – Yangtze River

Hotel: Victoria Cruise boat
Breakfast: Food included on the boat.
Paid extra excursion: $20 pp
Lunch: Food included on the boat.
Dinner: Food included on the boat.

Cost of travel: One month in China
Cost of travel: One month in China
Cost of travel: One month in China

Day 13 – Yangtze River

Hotel: Victoria Cruise boat
Breakfast: Food included on the boat.
Snack: I paid $1.50 (!!) for a chocolate bar from a street vendor outside a tourist attraction – I have a serious chocolate addiction!
Paid extra excursion: $20 pp
Lunch: Food included on the boat.
Dinner: Food included on the boat.

Day 14 – Yichang

Hotel: Ramada Yichang Hotel $68
Breakfast: Food included on the boat.
Transport from boat to hotel: $1
Lunch: McDonalds for two $7
Magnets (x2): $2
Dinner: Room service for two $14
Alcohol from the cruise: $36

xian_china_ terracotta_warriors

Day 15 – Xi’an

Hotel: Hantang Inn Hostel private room $24
Brunch: Beef noodle/chicken noodle and snacks from the Yichang Airport $4
Hotel to Airport: Free (taxi driver crashed into a lorry just outside the Airport so he didn’t charge us)
Flight from Yichang to Xi’an $36 pp.
Taxi from Xi’an Airport to Yichang: $11
Dinner: Duck for two with two beers and two wines $14

Snacks: 2 large bottles of water for our room, a large bag of crisps and a chocolate bar $3.40

Day 16 – Xi’an

Hotel: Hantang Inn Hostel private room $24
Breakfast: Cooked breakfast in the hostel bar $3.70 for two
Private driver (arranged by hotel) to and from the Terracotta Warriors $20
Terracotta Warriors entrance: $17 pp
Lunch: Soup from a restaurant nearby the Warriors $6
Dinner: Several drinks and a pizza at the Hostel bar $16

Day 17 – Xi’an

Hotel: Hantang Inn Hostel private room $24
Brunch: Cooked breakfast in the hostel bar $3.70 for two
Dinner: KFC for two $18

16110259_1383146081729603_1273048875132780544_n
shanghai_china2

Day 18 – Shanghai

Hotel: Shanghai Fish Inn Bund private room $38
Breakfast: Cereal from hotel bar $1.20
Xi’an to airport taxi: $10
Flight from Xi’an to Shanghai: $47 pp.
Lunch: Western food from a cafeteria style restaurant in Xi’an Airport $12
Dinner: Pizza hut (we found one in Shanghai!) $30

Day 19 – Shanghai

Hotel: Shanghai Fish Inn Bund private room $38
Breakfast: Street food snacks $4.20
Sightseeing Tunnel: $7 pp.
Attraction: Pearl tower observation deck, Municipal History Museum and Huangpu River Cruise (combo ticket) $33
Lunch: Bakery items $5
Snacks fro the hotel room: $16 (fizzy drinks/sweets/crisps)
Dinner: Dum Sum selection with alcoholic drinks $35

Day 20 – Shanghai

Hotel: Shanghai Fish Inn Bund private room $38
Snacks: Sandwich from local convenience store $4
Shanghai Museum: Free
Lunch: KFC lunch $10
Dinner: Street food selection $13

shanghai-museum-15

Day 21 – Shanghai

Hotel: Shanghai Fish Inn Bund private room $38
Brunch: Burger King for two $12
Dinner: Sit down, 3-course meal for two with a bottle of wine $42

Day 22 – Beijing

Hotel: Courtyard 7 private room $56
Shanghai to airport: $18
Taxi from one airport to the other airport (when we realised we were at the wrong place!): $20
Flight from Shanghai to Beijing: $68
Brunch: A rushed sandwich before boarding $8 for two
Train from Beijing Airport to hotel $3.60 per person
Dinner: Peking Duck with wine and beer $23 for two
Snacks: Water, Diet Coke, unusually flavoured pot of Pringles and two TeaTree Kit Kats $6

Courtyard 7 –  Beijing

Day 23 – Beijing

Hotel: Courtyard 7 private room $56
Breakfast: included with the hotel
Lunch: A pizza cone £2.70 and some churros $2.10 (Only in China?!)
Metro to Tiananmen Square: $0.40 per person, each way.
Forbidden city entrance: $8.70 pp.
Dinner: A four-course Chinese meal at our hotel Free (the hotel had some building work going on during the day so this was their way of apologising)
Snacks: Grilled scorpions from a street vendor $1 per stick

Day 24 – Beijing

Hotel: Courtyard 7 private room $56
Breakfast: included with the hotel
Metro to Temple of Heaven: $0.40 per person, each way.
Temple of Heaven: $1.40 pp.
Lunch: Street food snacks $3 for two
Dinner: Selection of 4 Chinese dishes to share with two soft drinks $16
Snacks: Two croissants, two orange juice small bottles and two apples $5

beijing_china

Day 25 – Beijing

Hotel: Courtyard 7 private room $56
Breakfast: Snacks we had purchased the day before
Great Wall Private tour including entrance: $65
Lunch: Subway at the Great Wall $4.50 per person
Bar: 2 beers and 2 wines $12
Dinner: Street food snacks $4.50 for two.

Day 25 – Last day in China

Breakfast: included in hotel
Lunch: Pizza cone $1.70 (had to be done!)
Dinner: Peking Duck $25
Taxi to airport: $40

Total: $3951.14 for two – £3232.96 GBP

So that was a break down of how much we spent during one month in China, giving you an idea of the cost of travel in China.

Of course, tours can be cheaper when you go as part of a group but we found if there is two of you, a private tour isn’t too much more than two spaces on  group tour.

Snack food is more expensive in China than many other places across Asia. Hotels can be found on a budget and hostels offer some good rates for private rooms. However, don’t expect anything special in these places. Plus, bring a pillow or neck pillow with you!

When we travelled, we found that the flights worked out cheaper than speed train but I believe prices are going down for speed trains so do your research before booking.

Any questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Romantic Budget Hotels Click The Image Below to Pin
Cost Of Travel - One Month in China - Pin This!
Romantic Budget Hotels Click The Image Above to Pin
Showing 20 comments
  • Ashley Smith
    Reply

    WOW–that’s some impressive note taking! Good job on that. I always love how cheap Asian street food is! Really helps out that wallet. 🙂

    • Katie
      Reply

      Haha we are pretty OCD with our spending!

  • Reply

    Love this guide! I did a similar guide for Santorini for 5 days and that was really hard to keep tab on. I can’t imagine how you did this for 25 days! That guide of mine is one of my most popular posts now so I’m guessing this one is going to be the same for you as it does give a great overview of the place. 🙂

    • Katie
      Reply

      I have a very big notebook! Thanks so much, will definitely head over and check out your guide on Santorini! Would love to visit!

  • Only By Land
    Reply

    I wonder if you guys got sick on day 5 from eating the Burger King? Anyway, it saved you some money that day didn’t it! It’s good you had a splurge in Macau, I spent fortunes there too, on hotels, going out, and the bungee jump. Great you got a win in there, it was like a discount on the Venetian!

    • Katie
      Reply

      Haha there was actually signs up around the airport warning people about the bug and we had to get a doctor to come out – wish it was just the Burger King! Yeah Macau was pricey but great fun! definitely worth the splurge!

  • Reply

    Thank you for sharing this useful information about China. As a trip to China is still on my list this is great for figuring out an itinerary and budgeting on your data. Chinese street food is a great way to safe money and try something local.

    • Katie
      Reply

      Yeah the trip can be definitely done cheaper. I was a bit weary of eating street food so we ate in restaurants and western chains quite a bit! Plus, we did splurge on a few nice meals out!

  • tracy collins
    Reply

    Really useful post – trying to work out the costs before going somewhere is a nightmare so this will seriously help my planning!

  • Fray
    Reply

    That is an impressive amount of receipt counting!

    I found it really interesting! Thank you. I expected Hong Kong to be super expensive, but also I imagined Beijing to be a bank breaker too, but by the look of it it’s pretty reasonable. And as soon as you get out of the big cities the prices become much more manageable. This has definitely peaked my interest.

    Did you sleep rough on Day 4? 🙂

    • Katie
      Reply

      We were actually meant to have gone to Macau but we were sick so our hotel were amazing and let us stay and extra night and didn’t charge us! We did offer but they said they were quiet anyway 🙂

      HK is super expensive but it can be done cheaply. There are some cheaper hostels and hotels but it was our first trip so we didn’t have the skills to find cheaper rooms! Yeah Shanghai is a bit pricey but Beijing was surprisingly affordable!

  • Bhushavali
    Reply

    I went to China about 10 years back (it was my first ever international travel) and I spent a week there. I totally forgot how much I spent!!! Being a veggie I ended eating just fresh fruits and veggies for all my dinners!!! Yeah, I couldn’t find any restaurant with anything veggie. My lunches were Cheese sandwich and that very trip I gave up my idea to try become a vegan!!! I really want to visit China again esp for the Leshan Buddha!!!

    • Katie
      Reply

      Haha yeah the Leshan Buddha is a must! Would definitely recommend 🙂

  • carlinn meyer
    Reply

    Wow what an amazing comprehensive look at the cost of living as a tourist for a month. This is great info especially because you can kind of work out how much it would be for shorter times as I cant travel for a whole month ( kittens at home haha ) Except for the sick day it looks like an awesome time!

  • Ticking the Bucketlist
    Reply

    I am going to Russia in May and then to China…so this post is just perfect. China is yet to be discovered and there isnt too much info available about how to travel and how much will it cost. Thanks so much for sharing. Though I am worried….I guess I would be struggling a lot to communicate!

  • Claire
    Reply

    Sounds like you had a great time in China! I just thought I’d add, China can be done a lot cheaper on a budget. It looks like you had an awesome trip and made the most out of a lot of things, but it’s worth noting that staying in the cheapest dorm rooms, eating solely street food and not taking taxis can reduce costs hugely.

    I did China for a month (excluding Hong Kong) on £900 on a super budget! Of course, it’s not always the most fun way to travel, and I imagine if I was travelling as a couple or could afford a private room on my own I’d opt for those sometimes too, but it can definitely be done cheaper for the real budget travellers 🙂

    • Katie
      Reply

      Oh yeah definitely! We are heading back to China to live and looking forward to budgeting a bit more!

  • Natalie
    Reply

    What a great detailed list! This is wonderful information for anyone planning a trip…or in our case a great way to get a feel for what things would cost if you were to move! I’m in the process of interviewing for a teaching position in Hong Kong. It looks like an amazing place!

pingbacks / trackbacks

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Us

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

BACKPACKING ASIA