Before You Go to Hong Kong
by Mark Heng
Singaporean visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for six months after the period of their intended stay in Hong Kong. Singaporeans do not require visas and can stay for up to 30 days visa-free. If you want to stay longer than the visa free period allowed, you must apply for a visa or entry permit before travelling to Hong Kong.
All visitors entering Hong Kong must go through Customs clearance and declare any dutiable commodities (liquor, tobacco, cigarette and cigar) exceeding duty-free quotas. A passenger aged 18 or above is allowed to bring into Hong Kong, for his own use, the following quantity of products exempted from duty: 1 litre of alcoholic liquor; and 19 cigarettes, or 1 cigar or 25 grams of cigars, or 25 grams of other manufactured tobacco. There are no currency restrictions for travellers. There is no sales tax in Hong Kong. The only tax you may be charged is 5% government tax on hotel rates. Most upscale hotels add this to a 10% service charge, making for a total surcharge of 15%.
To prevent and detect smuggling activities, permits are required to import and export certain prohibited articles. Commonly found prohibited/controlled items are dangerous drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled chemicals, antibiotics, arms, ammunition, fireworks, strategic commodities, rough diamonds, animals, plants, endangered species, certain telecommunication equipment (excluding mobile phones), game, meat and poultry. Passengers are liable to prosecution if these items are brought into/out of Hong Kong without a valid licence or permit.
Passengers flying out of Hong Kong International Airport are liable for a departure tax of HK$120 per person (12 years and above), included and charged together with the airline ticket.
When To Go
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with distinct seasons, with a typhoon season from May to November. When a typhoon is approaching, warnings are broadcast on TV and radio; there is a separate warning for heavy rain. Autumn (September to November) is regarded as the best time to visit Hong Kong, with pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures, with spring (March to May) considered an alternative with more changeable weather.
From Singapore Changi Airport to Hong Kong International Airport: Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Jetstar Asia Airways, Tiger Airways, United Airlines.