Walking along the river bank is better, especially once you've got out of town and away from the bungalows a bit. Mae Yen Waterfall is one of the better hikes doable from town.
Here is how you will spend your time
Day 1: Arrival At Chiang Mai And Transfer To Pai
Depart Chiang Mai by private truck to Pai. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive on winding roads to the starting point of the trekking tour. Hike for approximately 3 hours to the Red Lahu Village of Baan Phamon. Dinner and overnight in the village.
Day 2: Pai
Start walking for 3 hours with lunch en-route. Continue on elephant back through the jungle to the White Karen Village of Baan Muang Paem. Dinner and overnight in the village.
Day 3: Pai
Take a short 30 minutes walk to the nearby river and glide down the river on bamboo rafts for an hour. Hike to a Shan Village, lunch is taken en-route. In the afternoon continue trekking for another 4 hours to a Black Lahu Village. Dinner and overnight at the Black Lahu Village of Baan Bor Krai.
Day 4: Pai
Trek for 2.5 hours to the spectacular “Coral Cave” (please bring your torches and spare batteries), followed by a short walk to a teak house in a Shan Village. Dinner and overnight in the village.
Day 5: Departure
Return to Chiang Mai by truck with stop at Mokfa Waterfall. Arrival in Chiang Mai at around 17:00hrs and transfer to your hotel or the airport in Chiang Mai.