The office of the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration is located at No. 168, Xinghe Road, Section 2, in Hegang Village, Ruisui Village, Hualien County, on the mountain slope east of Hegang Elementary School. In addition to being the administration center for this entire area, it also provides many services for tourists.
The administration is located on Hegang's former tea plantation, which was state-run land managed by the Land Bank. Around 1951, the villagers of the Hegang area mainly cultivated grain crops such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, but due to the barren land and unpredictable weather, the villagers were frequently severely poverty stricken. After the Land Bank analyzed local natural conditions, including the climate, and soil composition, it was discovered that the environment was similar to tea production areas in southern India and Sri Lanka, and that Assam tea trees could be cultivated here. After successfully growing these trees here, a tea-seedlings nursery was set up in 1960, and tea cultivation was promoted. In 1963, a tea manufacturing workshop was built, which started producing Hegang Black Tea. In 1964, the Hegang Tea Plantation formally came into existence.
As the Land Bank had anticipated, the quality of the Assam black tea produced in the Hegang area was of a superior quality, and became the main force for Taiwan tea exportation. At one time, 200,000 kilograms of this tea were being exported. During that time, passengers taking the Taiwan Railway Administration's high-class Guanghua Hao train service would be served hot Hegang Black Tea in a wine glass. Sadly, after 1981, due to the appreciation of the Taiwan dollar and a raise in wages, the price of tea was raised. With the additional factor of a change in the economical situation both at home and abroad, the running of the tea plantation became increasingly difficult. Consequently, in 1998, the Hegang Tea Plantation ceased production, and this once-flourishing business entered into the annals of history.
On January of 2004, the Hegang Tea Plantation was transferred to the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration for the purpose of office use. There are future plans to turn this area into the Hegang Recreation Area, making it become a base of operations for tourism and allowing the Hegang area to flourish once more.
Address:No.168, Section 2, Xinghe Road, Neighbor 17, Hegang Village, Ruisui Township, Hualien County 97844, Taiwan, R.O.C.