Editor Rating: 6- Beijing is expensive compared to the rest of the country whose name isn't Shanghai. Even though it's expensive by Chinese standards, travelers can get by on a backpacker's budget if they are used to traveling like a backpacker. There are plenty of expensive options though, too, if that's your style.
Indie Travel Scale
Editor Rating: 8-Traveling in China is difficult, particularly if you do it independently instead of going the tour route like the vast majority of tourists to China. Difficult to one traveler means options to the indie traveler, though, and traveling in China is the definition of indie travel.