Shaolin told to clean up its image

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China's most famous Buddhist temple, the Shaolin Temple, could become better known for messiness and poor service.

Shaolin Temple

An investigation of the five-star tourist spot found piles of garbage, disorderly service and traffic paralyzed by roadside venders and dealers, according to a report by tourism authorities.

Zheng Shumin, director of the publicity department of the Shaolin Temple, confirmed to China Daily on Monday that the temple is cooperating with the local government to rectify the problems.

The temple, in Zhengzhou, Henan province, must fix the problems before March or lose its five-star level, Zheng said.

During a visit in October, the National Tourism Association discovered problems with equipment, order and services which do not meet the requirements of a five-star level tourism zone, according to a report in Oriental Outlook, a magazine run by the Xinhua News Agency.

The investigation team found vehicles parked in a disorderly fashion, unlicensed taxis, salespersons chasing tourists with souvenirs, and many people dressed like monks doing fortune-telling business or promoting products.

Inside, the temple was too crowded due to a lack of tourist flow control, and the places selling food were disorganized, said the report.

The report also said the tourist area was too small and badly managed, and the medical center is short of supplies.

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