Terrifying footage shows the moment a troop of monkeys suddenly turned on beachgoers and started to attack them.

The wild and unexpected encounter was filmed at the Phi Phi islands in Thailand on Christmas Eve.

The video clip from the aptly named Monkey Beach shows how tourists wearing bikinis and swimsuits leapt to their feet when several monkeys - including babies - launched themselves at people's legs.

Visitors to Thailand are reminded that wild animals are unpredictable and may act defensively if they feel threatened or provoked.

People are advised to move slowly around monkeys, stay at a safe distance, protect their belongings, do not approach them first, don't feed them and follow local guidelines.

Reports of monkey attacks seem to have increased in recent months.

A man was left in hospital in Thailand in August last year after claiming a group of 'devil monkeys' pushed him down a hill and attacked him.

Manee Chitdusadee, 44, was working as a driver in Chumphon province when he pulled over alongside some woodland for a break.

He then said a wild female pig-tailed macaque, known as a 'devil monkey', leapt out of the bushes and jumped on him.

Manee said he fell around 160ft down a slope, where more of the macaques attacked him.

He said: 'The monkeys were screaming. They were biting and scratching me... I was injured from the fall and I thought there was no way for me to escape.

'I couldn't believe it was happening. They were so aggressive and there were too many of them for me to fight them. My body was locked with fear so I curled up to try and protect myself.'

Another shocking video from March last year shows the moment an Australian dad 'punched out' two monkeys after a pack of them lunged at his one-year-old son on a beach in Thailand.

And a 10-year-old boy reportedly died after a monkey tore out his intestines near a temple in India in November.