Any particular problems for a solo female in Kham and Qinghai ??
Usually, people are very nice and kind, but beware of your purse, do not linger at night alone, do not trust some strangers completely, try to stay in a good hotel/guesthouse, etc.
Have a local mobile so that you can call any one or agent/official department you know if any emergency occurs.
China Culture Tour
No big difference to your place. Standard precautions recommended.
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No, no, no use even in couple. These days the bikers tend to be in group when in deep west Sichuan. Last summer a solo-going girl was murdered by area Daocheng - Shangri-La. I don't want to overstate the case. Personally i think in general it's fairly safe( especially for foreigners) in China's rural land. But no matter you are white or have a Chinese-look, always take care in strange places.Edited: 8:41 am, December 23, 2012
When working with an NGO in Kham areas, we were always told not to go out alone after dark - although I think the problem was more loose/ stray dogs than humans. And yes, the dogs ARE vicious if you do not belong to *their* people.
It's also helpful to remember that many places still have relatively little exposure to tourist traffic, and culturally a woman alone after dark is often assumed to be "easy."Edited: 9:30 am, December 23, 2012
If possible, hire a local guide and it will be much safer.
China Culture Tour
Thank you all for your comments. Will take into consideration.
Personally I have no problems to be out on the street (or in the wilderness) 24h a day anywhere in China. And in general the smaller the town/village, the safer it is.
Look how the locals behave. China, including most national minorities, has many tough women who are used to do business outside home late into the night.
However, Qinghai has very rough areas well above 4000m altitude, so if you want to hike there, you must be prepared.
The area of "Kham" does not exist any more. During the time of the Republic of China (1911 - 1949) Kham was the province Xikang.
After the revolution in 1949, Xikang was in part integrated into Sichuan province, another part in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
Before planning a trip to that area you should check whether there are travel restrictions for foreign nationals.
I think the OP is using Kham in the sense of the parts of Qinghai and Sichuan where a plurality or majority of the population is Kham Tibetan (very different character from Amdo or Central people!).
There's no saying what conditions will be like by the time you travel, Trekkerno1, but at present there are a lot more restrictions on foreigners entering Amdo areas; Kham has been much less *sensitive.*