Backpacking

Cost Breakdown: An 8 Day Trip to Beijing and Xian

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Posted on / by Alex Berger

Just did the post-mortem on the total cost for David and I’s 8 days in China. This is a quick one and since it was cash-only on the ground is easier to tally up than many of my other recent trips which is why I haven’t done a cost breakdown in quite some time. Of course, costs vary widely based on time of year, how you travel, and what your expectation is for level of comfort, but he’s what the trip cost us.

I’ll give each in DKK – then a final cost break down in USD. During this trip, which took place late March, the DKK was 1-to-1 with the Chinese Yuan which also makes some of the math even easier.  I also found our airfare to/from China via SecretFlying and a SAS birthday special for extremely cheap. The flight was normal economy and a direct flight which was part of the reason we decided to initiate the trip to begin with.

Airfare

2,000 each / 4,000 total (SAS special)

Visa

10 Year multiple Entry China Visa – 1,300 each / 2,600 total

In-country costs:

These include our overnight train to/from Beijing to Xi’an (where we saw the Terracotta Soldiers), all food, admission to various locations and sites, a day trip to a more remote/empty section of the Great Wall and a mixture of 4 bed dorms + 2 bed private dorms at hostels (which were up to 270 DKK per night). There were larger dormitory/other hostel options available that were as much as 1/3 the cost of what we paid, but we didn’t feel inclined to do a 6 or 10 person dorm. One of the added reasons we opted for the hostels was to use their booking and organized budget tour offerings. This worked well for our Great Wall trip, though in Xi’an we took a normal city bus to the Terracotta soldiers in place of a tour.  We also opted for the 12 hour, over night, higher level train to/from Xi’an in place of the communal sleeper cars (open rooms vs. 4 beds per in cabins) or the fast train (more expensive and half the time). The sleeping train was so good going to Xi’an we booked it back in place of flying.

Total cost for all on-the-ground expenses: 5,979 DKK.

Final combined cost:

The final tally for the entire trip including airfare and visa was 12,579 DKK (total) / 6,289 DKK (per person).

That’s about 780 DKK per day per person.

In USD that’s around $1,815 USD for the whole trip, $907 USD per person, and $113 per day.

For an idea of the overall cost per day, per person IN China, eliminating airfare and the visa, then you’re looking at 5,979 DKK in total. Which is 2,989 per person and 373 DKK per day, per person (53 USD).

Keeping in mind that this was a rather brief trip, mostly spent in Beijing, and that we were budget-focused but “splurging” it’s a mid-level price-per-day. We were also comfortable and actively sought out more authentic places to eat. Though we ate everything from KFC to more traditional touristic venues as well.

The hostels we used were 365 Inn for Beijing (decent) and Hantang House in Xi’an (fantastic!).

Alex Berger

I am a travel blogger and photographer. I also am involved in academic research into the study abroad and backpacker communities.

4 Comments

  • Junior
    April 10, 2017

    Damn! China is kinda expensive

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      April 13, 2017

      It really depends on what you want out of it and where you go. You also have to remember we were in the very heart of tourist areas and enjoying ourselves. There are definitely much cheaper options for transport, etc.

      Reply
  • Kevin
    April 28, 2017

    The trip to China turned out to be quite budgetary. And what about food, I heard that finding European food is quite difficult. We plan to visit China this summer.

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      April 28, 2017

      In the two cities I visited, near main tourist locations, you had KFC and or Burger King quite often. I was mostly focused on local cuisine. It is true that most places default to chopsticks and did not at least by default, put out silverware, but that also was not an issue for me. Ordinarily, I advise people against eating a lot of western food in Asia, primarily because that’s a great way to get food poisoning. Local food is safe, hygenic, and tasty. Western food is much more likely to be older, and puts you at higher risk of getting sick.

      Reply

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