A Croydon man has criticised the lack of information from officials as the worst tropical storm in 30 years has battered southern Thailand.

Storm Pabuk made landfall at 5.45am GMT on Friday over Pak Phanang, a district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province in the south and has moved west over the mainland.

Some tourists are currently sheltering in hotels on popular islands off the east coast and have said they have received "absolute no advice from officials".

Dominic Campbell, 32, an account manager from Croydon, travelled to the island of Koh Tao on January 3 with his girlfriend.

They arrived just as everyone was fleeing, but with their onward travel pre-booked they decided to stay and wait out the storm.

"I have to say, it's very alarming when you see thousands of tourists flee the island, but you're the one who isn't," Mr Campbell said.

"But the locals on this island don't seem too bothered."

"We have had absolutely no advice by officials," he added.

"Like I said, everybody on this island don't seem too bothered.

"Other than laying down a few sandbags there hasn't been much prep."

Britons make over one million trips to the country every year to visit popular islands such as Koh Phangnan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Over the winter period visitor numbers increase as many head there to catch some winter sun.

The Foreign Office has advised British nationals against all but essential travel to provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including areas such as Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

The storm was expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 46mph, the Thai Met Office warned.

Forecasters have also warned of possible flash flooding in certain areas caused by "forest runoffs" from the rain.

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) told the Press Association now is a popular time to visit the country for British travellers.

"People on holiday in the region are advised to monitor news reports and follow any advice or instructions issued by the local authorities, their travel provider and their accommodation providers," the Abta spokesman said.