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Money and costs

Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Hostel dorm: ¥50–¥80
  • A meal in a locals’ restaurants: ¥20–¥40
  • Bus or subway tickets: ¥1–¥2 (before price restructure)
  • Standard private room: ¥200–¥500
  • A meal in a midrange restaurant: ¥40–¥80
  • Short taxi trip: ¥15
  • Admission to main sights: ¥20–¥60
Top end (more than)
  • Luxury accommodation: ¥1000-plus
  • A meal at an international restaurant: ¥100-plus
  • Drinks at cocktail bars: ¥50–¥80
  • Guided tours: ¥200–¥1000

Rénmínbì (RMB), or ‘people’s money’, is issued by the Bank of China. The basic unit of Chinese currency is the yuán, usually written in shops and on signs with its Chinese character (元). Yuán is also referred to colloquially as kuài or kuàiqián. There are also smaller denominations of jiǎo and fěn. Ten jiǎo – in spoken Chinese, it’s known as máo – make up one yuán. Ten fēn make up one jiǎo, but these days fēn are rare because they are worth next to nothing.


Tips are never asked for, or expected. The only time you should ever consider tipping is in top-end luxury hotels or in top-end international restaurants. Don't be pressured into tipping tour guides – giving them extra on top of their fee is entirely optional.