This guy used a clever frequent-flyer strategy to take $30,000 worth of flights around the world -- here's what he saw

David Friedeberg is an entrepreneur who figured out how to use the rewards miles he accumulated through travelling and credit card purchases to book an incredible trip — one that took him almost an entire year to complete.

Friedeberg travelled first class on airlines like Qatar Air, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas, filling in some route with business class offerings from Lufthansa, Lan, and others. His trip took him around the world: from Bangkok to Tokyo to Sydney to Cape Town to Dubai to Budapest to Paris to — well, you get the idea.

How did he do it?

On the booking side, Friedeberg took advantage of a “round the world” ticket through British Airways (which calls it a “multi-carrier award”). This allowed him to fly up to 50,000 miles in 16 segments, which he used for his long-haul flights. He filled in the shorter legs with individual flights.

Though recreating exactly what it would have cost him is difficult, Friedeberg estimates he would have had to shell out almost $30,000 for the whole trip — if he were paying cash.

Here are some anecdotes and photos from Friedeberg’s year-long odyssey of monasteries, animals, cars, food, and beautiful beaches.

After heading to Europe, Friedeberg flew first class on Thai Airways to Bangkok, Thailand, where he played with baby tigers...

David Friedeberg

...and big ones too.

David Friedeberg

In Siem Reap, Cambodia, he was able to bribe security guards to let him up to the top of Angkor Wat. He saw the sunrise by himself and then got lost in the Ta Prohm temple, where 'Tomb Raider' was filmed.

David Friedeberg

In Saigon, Friedeberg made a friend who lent him a motorcycle so he could experience the thrill of riding in a sea of other riders. And he sampled the local nightlife.

David Friedeberg

But it was time to head to Hong Kong.

David Friedeberg

There he met a stranger at the top of the tallest hotel in the world, Ritz Hong Kong, and snuck through the stairs to go swimming in their pool on the 118th floor.

David M.

In Macau, he dined in both of the Michelin three-star restaurants.

David Friedeberg

Here's the desert cart at 'Robuchon au Dome.'

David Friedeberg

And the grand piano.

David Friedeberg

He also took in the craziness of the casino scene.

David Friedeberg

In Shanghai, Friedeberg had the pleasure of relaxing and swimming in a pool on the 93rd floor for a few days.

David Friedeberg

In Yangon, Myanmar, he went gambling and lost all of the money he had, so they gave it back to him.

David Friedeberg

Here's the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar.

David Friedeberg

A closer look inside.

David Friedeberg

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he attended the great symphony at the Petronas Towers.

David Friedeberg

In Phuket, Thailand, he relaxed and then literally ran from a monsoon when he noticed it approaching in the ocean.

David Friedeberg

In Penang, Malaysia, he went around the city finding the greatest three dimensional graffiti.

David Friedeberg

Here's another shot.

David Friedeberg

In Singapore, he swam on the 57th floor infinity pool on the top of the Marina Bay Sands.

David Friedeberg

It was Formula 1 weekend, so there were lots of cars. This is a Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

David Friedeberg

Other cars were harder to get pictures of as they sped by.

David Friedeberg

The crowd there ended up getting drenched.

David Friedeberg

In Bali, Friedeberg could see the Milky Way when travelling around the Indonesian island.

David Friedeberg

But the beach view was also nice.

David Friedeberg

And there were plenty of monkeys.

David Friedeberg

Time to go to Tokyo, Japan -- flying first class from Jakarta.

David Friedeberg

Here was the breakfast.

David Friedeberg

In Tokyo, he went to the Tsukiji fish market, one of the largest fish markets in the world.

David Friedeberg

Here are the tools of the trade.

David Friedeberg

He went to a cat cafe, ordered Ramen from vending machines, and had his taste for sushi changed forever.

David Friedeberg

And he made a new little friend.

David Friedeberg

Visiting Koya -san, officially called Mount Kōya, he stayed at a Buddhist monastery at the top of the mountain and prayed with them at dawn.

David Friedeberg

Here is the cemetery.

David Friedeberg

In Osaka, he tasted Kobe beef and realised that meat can actually melt in your mouth.

David Friedeberg

In Boracay, Philippines, he found the whitest sand he'd ever seen.

David Friedeberg

Then it was time to head to South Africa in business class.

David Friedeberg

In Vaalwater, South Africa, Friedeberg was the only guest at Zulu Camp Shambala.

David Friedeberg

So he had several butlers, a private chef, masseuse, and a game driver all to himself.

David Friedeberg

Of course, it wasn't just about the hotel.

David Friedeberg

At Addo Elephant National Park, he accidentally stayed past closing time.

David Friedeberg

He had dozens of elephants walk right next to his car.

David Friedeberg

He was terrified they were going to crush the car, and him along with it. But it ended up alright.

David Friedeberg

He flew to India, where he met up with him mum and took an elephant ride.

David Friedeberg

In Udaipur, India, he stayed at the amazing Taj Lake Palace, a floating marble hotel in the middle of Lake Pichola.

David Friedeberg

During the day, he learned how to tame cobras.

David Friedeberg

But he had to leave the elephants...

David Friedeberg

...and head to Dubai.

David Friedeberg

In Dubai, he went to Formula 1 weekend and got to spend time aboard the Titania, a 236 foot yacht.

David Friedeberg

He got to do some driving of his own too.

David Friedeberg

Then he flew to Europe. There were only two people in his Qatar Air first class cabin during the flight from Doha to Paris.

David Friedeberg

In Budapest, Hungary, he attended the opera where he and a friend watched from a box that they had all to themselves.

David Friedeberg

In Italy, he went to the Ferrari museum.

David Friedeberg

Then he flew to South America. In Rio de Janeiro, Friedeberg went to the Carnaval festival, drank too many Caipirinhas, and built sandcastles on the beach.

David Friedeberg

In Peru, he chewed too many coca leaves.

David Friedeberg

He then headed back to Europe, where he drove the breathtaking Furka pass from Switzerland to Italy.

David Friedeberg

Here's another shot.

David Friedeberg

He went to Apricale, a beautiful mountain town in Italy.

David Friedeberg

But that wasn't it. Friedeberg's trip continued, zipping back and forth across the globe.

David Friedeberg

There was more food...

David Friedeberg

More luxury cars...

David Friedeberg

More flights and food...

David Friedeberg

And more oceans.

David Friedeberg

It's hard to even plot the entire trip on a map.

David Friedeberg

If you want to check out more photos, you can head to Friedeberg's Instagram.

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