IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
The main city being gated is to ensure you see the story leading up to it. It's fairly important and colors the relationship between the Alliance/Horde and Pandaren.
Unless you did a lot of questing, the small tidbit you get from unlocking the Vale makes no sense.
Go to temple.
Go to Vale gate.
There was some Anduin and Random Tauren dialogue in there, but it was pretty uninteresting. Something, something, recycled plot development from Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, Garrosh is bad, you may enter the Vale. Congratulations, you can't afford to buy Pandaria flying license, because you ran too many dungeons while leveling.
P.S. You can go to Timeless Isle without talking to Chromie, and without buying your flying license. If you're on a class with a Jesus spell (Path of Frost, Glyph of Nightmares, etc.), you can simply ride to the island from easternmost part of Pandaria. Anyone else can pop a potion of whatchamacallit speed and swim there.