Gluten Free Getaways: Gluten Free Trip to China


Choose any date of travel (this is an individual itinerary, not a group trip)


China has been on many people's bucket list, but up until recently, it has been difficult to make this dream a reality for the gluten free traveler. Fortunately, Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us, in collaboration with Kensington Tours, is delighted to present an amazing China travel experience that includes keeping you "food safe." This particular journey has been developed to include key highlights of this fascinating country, coupled with the priority of keeping gluten free travelers healthy. Ellen and Kensington Tours have done the research to ensure the hotels where you will stay have the knowledge and experience needed to prepare safe gluten free meals.

Through intense research and communications with the hotels, they are able to present a "food safe" experience that most gluten free travelers would never think was possible! Please keep in mind, you will not be eating from street vendors or stopping in restaurants along the way. The Chinese cuisine is not inherently gluten free AND the greater population really has little knowledge of gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Ellen Morse and Kensington Tours are able to offer this to the Gluten Free traveler based upon following a specific itinerary and staying and eating at the specific places they know are safe. Below you will find a brief description of the places you'll visit -- along with a suggested itinerary that can be planned for your specific dates and customized to fit your particular interests and passions. The trip can also be made shorter, if you have less time. Similarly, you can extend your stay in any city, if you wish to see additional sites. Ellen and Kensington Tours will choose the hotels and venues for safe dining. The rest is up to you!


Voyage in style with this private guided journey fit for ancient emperors. Experience the exotic beauty of China while exploring some of its famed monuments and locations, including cornerstone cities Beijing and Shanghai. You'll visit the Forbidden City, the heart and soul of China's politics and society, and discover Beijing's glorious, notorious past through its Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and Summer Palace, all with an expert private guide. In Shanghai, you'll enjoy a private guided tour where you'll wander among the world's tallest skyscrapers as well as quiet, tree-lined streets.

This luxurious tour features 4-star hotels, private guides, chauffeurs, internal flights & more.


Day 1: Beijing


For your added comfort, your English speaking guide will be waiting for you outside the customs area at the airport, holding a sign with your name on it. Your guide will assist you in meeting up with your private driver and accompany you to your accommodation in a private vehicle.

Day 2: Beijing

This full day, private guided tour takes you to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. Tiananmen Square was built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty and stretches a vast 440,000 square meters. The Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 buildings. The Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty reigned here until 1924. The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven. A gluten-free boxed lunch will be provided.

Day 3: Beijing


Enjoy a private guided tour of the Great Wall at Mutianyu, located 45 miles northeast of Beijing. This section winds along lofty, cragged mountains for 1.4 miles and holds a prominent place in Chinese military history. Construction started in the Qi Dynasty (550-577) and was restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). There is an abundance of natural springs, which feed a great variety of verdant plants and ancient trees. Built mainly from granite with 8 meter high walls and 5 meters wide at the top, the wall is notable for its 22 watchtowers that suggest a significant military importance. Next, you will visit The Summer Palace, a sprawling suburban compound used by royalty as their summer retreat and best known for its stunning grounds around Kunming Lake. The Summer Palace occupies an area of 294 hectares of which three quarters are water. Classically designed as an archetypal Chinese garden, it is ranked among the most noted gardens of the world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. A gluten-free boxed lunch is included.

Day 4: Beijing, Xi'an


Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. Transfer from Beijing to Xi'an via the high-speed Bullet Train. The train ride is approximately 6 hours. Upon arrival in Xi'an, meet your driver with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. Enjoy a two hour evening walking tour in Muslim Cultural street in Xi'an - a fascinating area of the city which juxtaposes old against new. Nowadays this district is divided into three parts: Beiyuanmen Street, Xiyang Market, and Huajue Lane. It is also known by the name "Muslim Street." The Drum Tower is to the southern end and the Great Mosque is to the northern end of the district. The mixture of ancient culture and modern style along with the prosperous scene and tantalizing smells will give you a great insight into the pulse of the city. You'll also get to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda evening music fountain during your tour and enjoy a deluxe gluten free dinner.

Day 5: Xi'an


The first stop of this private guided bicycle tour is the Terra Cotta Army. Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7,000 soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits, which are protected inside huge hangars. The tour continues on to the imposing ancient city wall. The walls, ramparts, gates, and watchtowers form one of the oldest and most complete city defenses still around. They were built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City surrounding the city center. The last leg of the tour is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is a major Buddhist site. The simple, elegant brick pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple. The pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.

Day 6: Xi'an, Chengdu

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. Fly from Xi'an to Chengdu. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours. Transfer between the airport and the pier with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. Enjoy a lovely evening out in Chengdu starting with a Hotpot dinner at Huangchenglaoma, and walking through Broad and Narrow Street.

Day 7: Chengdu


Enjoy a full day private guided Chengdu tour, starting with a half-day trip to the Panda Research Center. The center was designed to imitate the pandas' natural habitat in order to provide the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. After watching and observing the pandas, travel to Chengdu's traditional Jinli Street for a local lunch. After your meal, you will visit a local tea house to experience one of the most vibrant and ancient tea cultures in the world. A gluten-free boxed lunch is included.

Day 8: Chengdu, Guilin, Yangshuo


Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. Fly from Chengdu to Guilin. The flight time is approximately 1.5 hours. Transfer from Guilin Airport to Yangshuo with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 1.5 hours. Enjoy a deluxe local dinner followed by the Sister Liu Show. This spectacle was created by the Oscar winning Zhang Yimou and presents the local culture through a cavalcade of lights and cast of 500 using a private bay as the theatre and local mountains as the backdrop. This is sure to be one of the most memorable activities of your trip.

Day 9: Yangshuo


The full day hike along the most interesting stretch of the Li River can be done in various formats. We suggest to begin in the village of Yangdi and follow the winding river as it flows downstream towards the village of Xingping. Pass en route some of the most famous landmarks of the river such as the 9 Horse Fresco. This journey includes 4 to 5 hours walking, river ferries and a short cruise. It is designed for individuals or small groups and offers a truly alternative view of this famous river as well as the rural landscapes and people who live beside it. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, the scenery along the Li River is one of China's top destinations. Snacks, fruit and bottle water are included in this tour.

Day 10: Yangshuo, Guilin, Shanghai


Transfer from Yangsuo to the Guilin airport with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 1.5 hours. Fly from Guilin to Shanghai. The flight time is approximately 2.5 hours. Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. Walk along the famous Nanjing Road and the fabulous Bund area while you listen to your expert local tour guide explain the history and development of China's most cosmopolitan city. Nanjing Road, Shanghai's major shopping district, is one of the world's busiest shopping streets, packed with bustling stores and food outlets. It is named after the neighboring province's capital. A large part of Nanjing Road is a pedestrian precinct. The next stop is the Bund, which is Shanghai's famous waterfront. From here you will have spectacular views of the Pudong side of the city. The Huangpu River is not only the mother river of Shanghai, which divides the city into east and west parts, but also assembles the splendid attractions of the city. The cruise ride is about 1 hour.

Day 11: Shanghai


This half-day private guided city tour visits some of the most picturesque areas around Shanghai, specifically the Jade Buddha Temple and Yuyuan Garden. The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the most popular sights in Shanghai containing rare white jade Buddhas brought from Burma in the nineteenth century. One is seated while the other is in the recumbent position of Sakyamuni symbolizing the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment or nirvana. Yuyuan Garden is the largest of Shanghai's ancient gardens with architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The garden has six areas, each in its own style and the most popular being the Grand Rockery in the center. A gluten-free boxed lunch is included.

Day 12: Shanghai, Depart for Home

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Please contact Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us directly at 312-337-9235 or email her at for pricing and for answers to any of your questions.