Irreverent, cheerful and pleasantly boisterous, Sikkim’s modern capital is layered along a precipitous mountain ridge, descending the hillside in steep tiers. It's a confusing spaghetti of winding lanes flanked by tall, mostly concrete-block buildings that might appear to be two storeys high from one side but often have several more floors descending behind. As well as a handful of minor sights, there are countless viewpoints with panoramas that encompass plunging green valleys and, if you're lucky weather-wise, glimpses of Khangchendzonga on the distant skyline.
More than anything, Gangtok's a good place for post-trek R&R, for organising tours and permits, and for meeting fellow travellers to make up a necessary group.
The NH31A (Rangpo–Mangan road) is Gangtok's crooked north–south spine. Mostly pedestrianised Mahatma Ghandi (MG) Marg, the social-commercial hub, is packed with restaurants, shops, travel agents and a bustling early-evening passeggiata of relaxed wanderers.