The World: The Marshal's Backstreet Astrologer

In Cambodia, where virtually everyone has a favorite fortune teller, the advice of astrologers often determines whether armies advance, governments fall or prime ministers take trips. When rebels bombed his presidential palace recently, Marshal Lon Nol was rumored to have fired some of his senior soothsayers. Last week TIME Correspondent Barry Hillenbrand ventured into the back streets of Phnom-Penh to visit a gray-haired old astrologer whose clients include the marshal himself. Hillenbrand's report:

THE astrologer's mind is quick, despite his 72 years, and the irises of his blue-black eyes seem enormous. He sat in an oversized lounge chair beneath a whirling...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!