Ai’s greatest attraction is snorkelling or diving the remarkably accessible, brilliantly pristine coral drop-offs just a flipper-flap away. There’s a lot to see directly in front of the village, especially in October when groups of Napoleon fish appear along with migrating dolphins and whales. Sea life is likewise impressive off Pantai Sebila, the island's best beach (a 15-minute walk west of the village), where an exceptionally stark wall, crusted with coral and laced with sea anemones, juts straight down.
Ai is essentially just an extended village interspersed with plantations. The island blipped on the global map in the 17th century, when English agents armed the locals against a 1615 Dutch attack. The islanders inflicted some 200 casualties on the astonished Dutch. Their reward was to be abandoned by the British and then massacred by the returning Dutch. Ai was subsequently repopulated with slaves and prisoners.