When researching family friendly activities in Melaka I came across the Duck Tours land and water tour. It looked cool. You drive around Melaka in a yellow buggy, eventually hitting the jetty, where the buggy becomes a boat, and the tour continues on water. I figured the boys would love it… and we’d get to see some of Melaka while sitting under the cover of the Duck Tour buggy to escape the heat.
For our family of six the tour came to nearly $90. Apart from our Angkor Wat pass this turned out to be our most expensive family activity on the whole trip. Was it worth it?
We excitedly boarded the buggy, mainly because coming from a Sydney winter the heat was stiffling and we needed some shade. And besides… We’d read good reviews. This was going to be fun.
I hate giving bad reviews unless someone was incredibly rude or a place or service just vile. And the guide was nice if unintelligible. The problem was… the route they take is the most uninspiring, dull route Ive ever experienced on any tour anywhere in the world.
They drive your through the arse end of Melaka, telling you all about how the land has been reclaimed from the sea (you hear this constantly throughout the 1 hour tour) and point out building after building that was built during some sort of boom fifteen years earlier but then money ran out and these ugly buildings stand unfinished and empty.
Finally we got the the supposedly exciting bit… The water tour. We hit the water, everyone squeals, and the duck is now a boat. Thirty seconds of excitement turns into ten minutes of disbelief as we motor past… nothing. Awful coastline, a few dredges, where they clearly still reclaim land from the sea.
The whole time the perfectly nice guide is rabbiting on through a microphone, but no one on the boat can hear properly.
The boats circles… You can feel the anticipation in the boat… Will the scenic part of the tour now begin…? Will we see ANYTHING? I’d would’ve been happy with a freaking fish at this stage, the ocean looked so dead.
The boat finishes circling… And we retrace our steps through the marine-free water, back onto reclaimed land… and through the disused warehouse area of Melaka. The guide has run out of things to say so starts a competition between the kids getting them to guess the name of the duck buggy we’re sitting on. Our boys give a couple of half-arsed answers, which goes to show how much they gave a toss about the prize. Normally they’ll fight to the death over anything, but this plastic duck whistle didn’t inspire their competitive spirits.
Finally one kid guessed the name and was handed the whistle, much to the horror of his parents. He’s clearly never won anything before because he started to sob with joy, which confused my sons even more.
And then it was over. We clambered off the buggy called Daisy or Quack or something… and continued on our way nearly $100 poorer.
Melaka has some gorgeous places… but this tour didn’t pass any of them.
Bottom line, not worth the money. Unless like us, you decide the money spent is absolutely worth it, to actually experience the worse tour ever. Lemons into lemonade.